Source: CBS News
A growing number of U.S. kids are ending up in the intensive care unit after overdosing on prescription painkillers or other opioids, a new study finds.
Researchers found that between 2004 and 2015, the number of children and teens admitted to a pediatric intensive care unit for an opioid overdose nearly doubled. That included teenagers who’d abused the drugs, and young children who’d accidentally gotten hold of them.
“These admissions are entirely preventable,” said lead researcher Dr. Jason Kane, of the University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital. “These kids shouldn’t be there.”
The findings, reported online March 5 in the journal Pediatrics, offer the latest look at the U.S. opioid epidemic.
An estimated 2.4 million Americans have an opioid use disorder, according to federal estimates. That includes abuse of prescription painkillers such as Vicodin and OxyContin, as well as illegal