A study revealed that Opioid pain killers as poisoning for children and teenagers. From 1007 to 2012 the number of reported cases of Opioid poisoning has increased. About 1.40 per 100,000 kids to 3.71 per 100,000.
Julie Gaither a post-doctoral fellow at Yale School of public health and study’s leading author said that Opioids are ubiquitous now. She said that the doctors encourage to keep these pain killers at home and kids as well as teenagers have access to it.
JAMA Pediaterics published a study that studied 13,000 hospital and their discharge records from 1997 to 2012 for reported Opioids poisoning. The study used census data to generate rates. The hospital discharge data was collected by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
Experts say that although the data of reported cases have declined after 2012 among adults but it continues to persist, and remain a trouble in itself. However, the number of toddlers increase from 0.86 per 100,000 to 2.62 per 100,000. It is possible that the toddlers mistook the Opioids to a candy or a treat.
Teens have the highest rate of poisoning with opioids. This is perhaps deliberately done on part of the teens. Researchers justified their claims by stating that teenagers are at a higher risk of being influenced by depression and suicide hence, overdoes. In 2012, more teenagers were hospitalized due to opioids poisoning due to 10.17 per 100,000.
Gaither and her co-authors raised concerns by stating that the awareness should not only be for the purpose of controlling the prescription of this medication but there is also a need to educate the patients to store it in a proper place.
Jonathan Chen, physician at Stanford Medicine explained the opioids effects and the kind of care required with the medication. However the doctors are so engrossed in briefing patients about their health that this minute details are left unattended. He says although it should be part of a doctor patient conversation but the doctors have more to discuss with the patient than the effects of opioid on the health of the family members.
Pediatricians could be of great help in explaining parents how opioids can dangerous for children especially during the visits to hospital but practice has not yet been implemented in the hospitals. They do discuss other risks but not specifically the effects of Opioids painkillers.
Experts suggest that smaller prescriptions of opioids may help in maintaining the balance and preventing poisoning among children.