More Children Are Being Poisoned By Prescription Opioids
Young children and teenagers are increasingly likely to be poisoned by opioid painkillers that are often prescribed for other family members, a study finds.
The rate of children hospitalized for opioid poisoning increased 165 percent from 1997 to 2012, from about 1.40 per 100,000 kids to 3.71 per 100,000.
"Opioids are ubiquitous now," says Julie Gaither, a postdoctoral fellow at Yale School of Public Health and the study's lead author. "Enough opioids are prescribed every year to put a bottle of painkillers in every household. They're everywhere, and kids are getting into them."