Number of children overdosing on opioids almost doubles

Number of children overdosing on opioids almost doubles

Number of children overdosing on opioids almost doubles

The study authors, from the University of Chicago Medicine, the Children's Hospital Association and Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, wrote that total financial costs associated with pediatric opioid overdoses also grew from 2004 to 2015.

They found more than 3,600 children aged 17 and under were admitted for opioid-related injuries at just 31 hospitals between 2004 and 2015.

Dr. Kane said about 20 percent of the youngest children were poisoned by methadone, an opioid used to treat moderate to severe pain or opioid dependence in adults This means many young children are likely finding their parents' medication and ingesting it, Dr. Kane said.

Researchers also found that the number of pediatric patients being admitted to intensive care units for opioid-related illnesses also nearly doubled between 2012 to 2015 from 367 to 643.

"The thing that was a bit striking is that in the youngest children, those under six years of age, 20% of the ingestions were of methadone".

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Government estimates state that around 2.4 million Americans have some sort of opioid use disorder, including prescription painkiller abuse (Vicodin or OxyContin), and illegal drugs like heroin or cocaine. Ryan said that when they have legitimate prescriptions for opioids, they need to keep the medication out of the sight and reach of young children. The drug can also depress the body's drive to breathe.

In the U.S., the opioid consumption has increased in the last years and there is no sign it will get lower soon. He also hopes more responsible prescribing practices and laws will start to bring the number of child hospitalizations down in the years to come. The total number of hospital days attributed to children with opioid ingestion also "continues to increase over time at an alarming rate".

Sessions have directed the PIL Task Force to establish a working group to improve coordination and data sharing across the federal government to better identify violations of law and patterns of fraud related to the opioid epidemic; evaluate possible changes to the regulatory regime governing opioid distribution; and recommend changes to laws.

But while the focus is usually on adults, children have become "the second wave of victims", Kane said. She said that parents need to practice more caution regarding their use of opioids.

In the report they published was reported that the children under the age of 6 opioid remains the de facto of drug poisoning.

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