Youth opioid overdoses increasingly common, fatal, study finds

More than 25 percent of opioid overdoses involve youth as overdoses become increasingly severe, according to an analysis presented at the Society of Critical Care Medicine's 49th Critical Care Congress. 

Researchers analyzed 753,592 opioid overdoses reported to the National Poison Data System between 2005 and 2018 and determined 207,543 (27.5 percent) involved individuals younger than 19. 

The analysis found almost 10 percent of youth who overdosed in 2015-18 were admitted to a critical care unit. For that same time period, more than 20 percent of overdoses were classified as an attempted suicide, a percentage that has increased over the last 14 years. From 2005-18, youth opioid-related deaths increased from .18 percent to .28 percent.

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