Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Unintentional Poisoning Deaths among Teens and Young Adults
According to the CDC, death from unintentional drug poisonings have increased substantially in recent years and that the population most impacted was teenagers and young adults who were abusing both prescription and illegal drugs.
According to the study published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, poisoning rates in the United States increased 62.5% in the five years between 1999 and 2004. The largest increases occurred among whites, females, people in the South, and those between 15 – 24 years old. This age group was also consistent with the substantial increases in recreational prescription drugs and cocaine use among adolescents and young adults.
Also of concern is that most of these deaths resulted from overdose from prescription drugs such as oxycodone and sedatives as well as cocaine. There was not an increase from methamphetamines, heroin or other illegal drugs. The concern is that many teens and young adults have access to these drugs, often from as close as their parents’ or friends parents’ medicine cabinets.
Parents should take caution in where they store prescription drugs in their home and restrict who has access to them. The CDC has also recommended that physicians, state agencies, prescription drug providers, health care providers and state and federal prevention programs evaluate their practices and increase measures to reduce the unsafe use of drugs.
Source: Centers for Disease Control