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Monday, 2 January 2017

Number of Toddlers, Teenagers Poisoned by Opioids Skyrocketing

Susan Posel

Researchers at the Yale University School of Public Health (YUPH) have published a study showing the children and teenagers are not only being poisoned by prescribed opioid painkillers, but these drugs are contributing to the uptick in this age group’s mortality rate.

There has been a 165% increase in child and teenage opioid poising between 1997 and 2012. In that same time frame 176 children and teenagers died.

Using discharge records from over thirteen hundred hospitals across the country, collected by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the YUPH study also notes that the number of toddlers being hospitalized for opioid poisoning has doubled in that same 5 year period which is disturbing because opioids can be administered via flavored lollipops which are 100 times stronger than heroin.

A large part of the problem is that forty percent , or 1 in 10, secondary school students are taking opioids for “non-medical reasons” from their own physicians.

Even the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) confirms that from the 1990s to the 2000s, the number of underage patients being prescribed opioids has nearly doubled, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has called for more caution from doctors prescribing the drug to teenagers.

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