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Opioid deaths in children and adolescents – Medical news

Nearly 9,000 children and adolescents died of opioid poisoning with prescription drugs and illegal drugs between 1999 and 2016

Important points

  • Question: How has the death rate in the US changed? The law for poisoning by pediatric opioids in the last 2 decades?
  • Findings: In this cross-sectional study, 8,986 children and adolescents died between 1999 and 2016 due to opioid poisoning and prescriptions. During this time, the death rate increased by 268.2%.
  • Meaning: specifically, family-centered pediatric interventions are needed to treat pediatric opioid poisoning, a developing public health problem in the United States.


In 2015, there were 33,000 deaths in the United States caused by opioid poisoning; in 2016, deaths exceeded 43,000, more than other registered years.

Americans continue to die in unprecedented numbers due to prescribed opioids and, more and more, heroin and fentanyl are produced illegally, despite aggressive public health measures to overcome the crisis, which speak of the complexity and nature of the evolution of this epidemic.

What began more than two decades ago as a public health problem, especially among young white and middle-aged men, is now an epidemic of prescription and abuse of illegal opioids that affect all segments of US society. United States, including the population pediatric.

Millions of children and adolescents are now routinely exposed to their homes, schools and communities to these powerful and addictive medicines.

In the United States, almost 5000 children under 6 years they are evaluated annually in the emergency department for opioid exposure.

In addition, hospitalization for opioid poisoning has increased almost 2 times in all age groups of children between 1997 and 2012.

This number has more than doubled among children aged 1 to 4 years, and in adolescents aged 15 to 19 years, poisoning is caused by suicidal intentions and unintentional intentions increasing by 2 and 3 times, respectively.

But it is unclear, how many children die every year in the United States due to opioid poisoning and how the mortality rate has changed from time to time since the epidemic began in the late 1990s.

that target this study, therefore, is to examine in detail the national trends in child mortality due to opioid poisoning in relation to age, race / ethnicity, form of death (i.e. intention), involving opioids and the environment (for example, medical versus housing).



It is not yet known how many children and adolescents die each year from opioid poisoning and how the death rate has changed over time.


Almost 9,000 children and adolescents died of opioid poisoning with prescription drugs and illegal drugs between 1999 and 2016, according to national data analysis. The death rate nearly tripled during that time to almost 1 per 100,000 according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Number of deaths due to pediatric opioids and death rates per year Number of deaths (A) and mortality rate (B) for children and adolescents from 0 to 19 years. The error line shows 95% CI.

that prescription opioids they were involved in 73 percent of deaths (6,561) and the majority of deaths were accidental (almost 81 percent).

The majority of deaths occur among non-Hispanic white men, but over time non-Hispanic black children account for a greater proportion of deaths.

The highest annual mortality rate for the 18 years examined in this study was among adolescents 15 to 19 years old, with heroin involved in nearly 1,900 deaths.

This research is based on data from the death certificate, so there is a possibility of misclassification of causes and ways of death.

The researchers urged parliamentarians, public health officials, doctors and parents to implement protective measures to address the growing health problems of the community.

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