Number Of Kids And Teens Affected By Opioid Crisis Growing

07 March, 2018, 07:25 | Author: Darrell Lopez
  • Number Of Kids And Teens Affected By Opioid Crisis Growing

"I think there needs to be a stronger emphasis to the adults receiving these drugs - these prescription medications - about the consequences that may happen to their families as a result of those drugs being in their homes", lead author Dr. Jason Kane told CNN.

The study shows a steady increase of opioid ingestion and poisoning across all age groups in US children's hospitals, increasing from 797 in 2004 to 1,504 in 2015, according to data provided by the hospitals.

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.

The opioid epidemic is negatively impacting children, and the rate of hospitalization, as well as admission for pediatric opioid poisoning, is increasing. In addition, 37 percent of the young patients had to be put on mechanical ventilators and more than a fifth required medication to prevent cardiac arrest, the researchers found.

In contrast, the study found, only 12 percent of children hospitalized for any reason had to be admitted to the ICU.




Opioid use disorder affects an estimate of 2.4 million Americans. "Young children are at greatest risk for exposure".

Prescription opioids such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, and morphine are powerful painkillers. Synthetic opioid overdoses terminated 20,000 people in 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

The findings, reported online March 5 in the journal Pediatrics, offer the latest look at the US opioid epidemic. "Not only did the absolute number of opioid-related admissions increase but the rate of both hospital and PICU admissions increased as well".

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 parents of older kids also need to keep a watchful eye over any prescription opioids, Ryan stressed. "We will use whatever tools we have to hold people accountable for breaking our laws", said Sessions. The opioids cited in the cases ranged from prescription painkillers to heroin and methadone.

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