Opioid Overdoses Are A Growing Problem In Children And Adolescents

A new research study released this week revealed that one in four opioid overdoses involved kids or teens. Nearly, 1 in 10 children and teens who overdosed on opioids were admitted to the critical care unit between 1015 and 2018.  In that time period, more than 1 in 5 of these overdoses was an attempted suicide. These alarming findings shed light on the stark reality that the opioid epidemic is taking a toll on our young people, and that opioid poisonings among this age group are becoming increasingly more and more likely to be life-threatening.

There were 753,592 opioid poisoning cases reported to the National Poison Data System between 2005 and 2018, of these cases 207,543 (27.5%) involved those younger than 19 years old. Additionally, the percentage of patients in this age group admitted to a critical care unit increased from 6.6% to 9.6%, and deaths increased from .18% to .28%. Naloxone administration increased from 42.3% to 50.8%

At the Partnership For A Drug Free New Jersey (PDFNJ) our mission is to educate our children about the dangers of opioids and how easy it is to be come addicted.  Our research has shown that it is never to early to talk to children about the dangers of drug abuse.  Parents, pediatrician, teachers, coaches, and anyone who interacts with children and adolescents needs to be made aware of misuse and abuse of opioids, and the risk of self-harm that can be brought about from them.

PDFNJ collaborates with Horizon Foundation of New Jersey (Horizon BCBSNJ) on a two-year Knock Out Opioid Abuse initiative to address the opioid epidemic through community outreach, prescriber education, parent education and a statewide awareness campaign. The initiative hosts The Knock Out Opioid Abuse Town Hall Series that brings experts on the opioid epidemic from various fields, including law enforcement, the medical community, government, prevention, treatment and recovery together for events in communities in all 21 New Jersey counties.

Our next Town Hall event will take place on Friday, March 13th at the Newton Medical Center in Newton, NJ.  To find out more information about this event and upcoming Town Halls, please visit our wesbite.  We encourage you to take part, and do all you can to protect our young people from this epidemic.

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