Opioid epidemic likely behind rising rates of child deaths due to poisoning

Brian Zimmerman - Print  | 

While death rates among children have declined largely due to improvements in infant survival, deaths among older children from suicide and accidental poisonings have increased, according to a study published in the journal Pediatrics cited in an ABC News report.


For the study, researchers examined birth and death certificate data from 2013 to 2014 for children across the United States as a part of an annual review conducted by the CDC's vital statistics department. Deaths among children saw a marginal decline with 24.1 deaths per 100,000 people recorded in 2013 and 23.9 deaths in 2014. However, when compared to death rates compiled for the year 2000, rates of suicide for children 19 years old and younger increased by 14 percent from 10.2 deaths per 100,000 people to 11.6 deaths in 2014. Drug overdose deaths among adolescents and young adults aged 15 to 24 years surged by 163 percent from 3.0 deaths per 100,000 people to 7.9 deaths.

"Drug-related causes account for the majority of accidental poisoning deaths," the study's authors wrote, according to the ABC News report.  

With rising rates of opioid overdoses being recorded across the country, the nation's opioid abuse crisis is the likely driver of the rise in accidental poisoning deaths, suggests ABC News.

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