Poison control centers in the US got around 188,468 calls between 2000 to 2015 of prescription opioid cases in teens and children; as reported by new studies. The research indicates that this would mean the calls per year poison control centers got would be around 11,700.
Dr. Marcel Casavant, the study author, said that they were aware they were in the midst of an opioid epidemic throughout the country, with where they’re located-Central Ohio being the most affected. Talking to Reuters Health, he said some light on opioid is shed by the study, which includes painkillers like oxycodone and hydrocodone and the impact they have on young people.
He further stated that findings from National Poison Data System indicate that children below the age of five were exposed to opioids through exploratory exposures where children could eat pills when they came across them on the floor while crawling around. Medication errors were the case for children between the age of six and twelve with instances being when they get second doses accidentally or the get the wrong treatment.
Calls about young adults and teenagers were mostly associated with intentional exposures such as drug abuse or suicide attempts. On March 20th, the journal Pediatrics which featured the report states the opioid exposure among adolescents and children rose to a high of 86% between 2000 and 2009 with later on decreasing between 2009 and 2015.
The decline is said to be as a result of doctors taking more care on their part when it comes to writing prescriptions of opioids, Casavant said. He also said parents contributed to this as they’re more careful in making sure they keep the drugs out of the reach of children. Technology deterring individuals from getting huge amounts opioid also contributed to the decline. The decline might also be an indication people are embracing other types of drugs like heroin as the opioids are getting harder and harder to get.
In 2015, the number of teens exposed to opioid was still high compared to 2000, Casavant stated. His team only took into account the calls to poison control centers in their study and no other instances related to opioid. On March 20th, a pediatrics related companion paper showed there to be a strong tie between the prescribed opioids and their recreational utilization. It reports that doctors at some point prescribed these drugs to teenagers which they ended up abusing.
Sean Esteban McCabe from Ann Arbor’s University of Michigan and his counterparts examined representative studies nationally gathered between 1976 and 2015 of high school seniors. A quarter of the students is said to have been using opioids for non-medical and medical purposes. In this case also, between 2013 and 2015, the non-medical and medical drugs use decreased between 2013 and 2015.
Drs. Pamela Murray and David Rosen from Morgantown West Virginia University published in an editorial that other related research was in support of opioid declined use but warned that this was not the case throughout the US. Casavant recommended that poisonous substances be kept out of reach and sight. He said that the opioids issue needs to get dealt with once and for all.