Tuesday, 24 October, 2017

Drug overdose deaths among adolescents highest for opioids — CDC

She had a 4.0 GPA and was hooked on heroin Drug overdose US: Teenage deaths rise again, newer drugs could be root cause
Sammy Stanley | 18 August, 2017, 00:17

Researcher Sally Curtin from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that teen drug overdose increased in 2015 but the reason is not clear.

Overall, the office is projecting that 466 New Hampshire residents will overdose and die from drugs in 2017, down slightly from 486 past year.

The report said more female adolescents overdosed intentionally than males in 2015.

The report, from the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics, looked at drug overdose deaths among people age 15 to 19 from 1999 to 2015.

Adult overdose deaths in the U.S. have soared and until 2014, the drop in teen deaths was considered a bright spot. The rate in boys fell by a third though the girls' rate held steady. Heroin is responsible for the most deaths among these drugs, and is now responsible for one fatality per 100,000 adolescents per year. The number of deaths in 2014 was 658.

The recent increases in teen overdose deaths come after a relatively stable period from 2007 to 2011 and then a slight decline from 2012 to 2014.

Heroin was the most common cause of fatal opioid overdose in the 15-to-19 age group. Results from the Monitoring the Future study released in December, show that adolescent use of drugs, alcohol and tobacco is at its lowest level since the 1990s. But the larger trends are ominous.

The drop in teen deaths had been a rare bright spot in the opioid epidemic that has seen adult overdose deaths surge year after year - fueled by abuse of prescription painkillers, heroin and newer drugs like fentanyl.

Most deaths across the state are from the opiate medication fentanyl, which is more deadly than heroin.

Still, "any uptick at all [in drug overdose deaths] is certainly something that has to get our attention", Stein said.

Another difference: Unlike adults, overdose deaths in teens have not been climbing every year. A parallel increase of 15% from 2014 to 2015 was recorded among boys.

"And if you use just a little bit you can actually like overdose pretty easily", added Camerer.

The report comes as the Trump administration has given conflicting signals about how it intends to address the crisis. In other words, more data will be needed to determine if this marks a new upward trend.

How can opioid abuse be reduced among young people? "But if they don't start, it will never be a problem".

Last week, President Donald Trump declared the opioid crisis, which is especially severe in rural areas, a national emergency.

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