4 ways opioids affect children in different states

Researchers at the University of South Florida in Tampa conducted a study analyzing how opioid prescriptions affect children across different states.

Here are four things to know:

1. For the study, researchers conducted a meta analysis of opioid prescription rates between 2010-15. Troy Quast, PhD, associate professor at the University of South Florida's College of Public Health and the study's lead author, found the U.S. average number of children removed each year due to parental substance abuse varied by state. About 1 out of every 2,000 kids was affected in California and New York. Five out of every 2,000 kids were affected in West Virginia.

2. In 23 states, increases in opioid prescription rates were linked to an increase in child removal rate. The state of California saw a 10 percent increase in its opioid prescription rate and a 28 percent increase in child removal rate.

3. By contrast, states saw an increase in opioid prescription rates with a decreased child removal rate. Dr. Quast partially attributed the disparity to states' varying criteria for removing children from their homes.

"States also differ in their legal treatment of opioid prescriptions through prescription drug monitoring programs and legislation regarding pill mills," Dr. Quast said. "The differences could also reflect varying stages of the opioid epidemic."

4. Dr. Quast indicated there might also be a link between higher opioid prescription rates and lower illicit opioid use.

More articles on opioids: 

Michigan patients only take 27% of prescribed opioids
BCBS of Alabama to drop coverage for OxyContin
Mac Miller's death attributed to opioids, cocaine

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