Teen overdose deaths spike at alarming rate, new data

Teen overdose deaths spike at alarming rate new data

The rate of teenage drug overdose deaths spiked 19 percent from 2014 to 2015 in the U.S., a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds.

In 2015, there were 772 deaths related to drug overdose among adolescents aged 15 to 19, an increase from 3.1 deaths per 100,000 people to 3.7, the data revealed.

Although the majority of the fatal overdoses were unintended, women were more than twice as likely to have used drugs to commit suicide than men — 21.9 percent versus 8.7, respectively.

Opioids — prescription painkillers ( such as oxycodone), heroin and fentanyl — represented the bulk of drugs linked to overdose deaths in teens, with heroin as the leading substance. The rate of heroin-involved overdose deaths tripled from .03 to 1 per 100,000 people, from 1999 to 2015.

Overdose fatalities linked to methadone jumped ten times from .01 in 1999 to 1.1 in 2007. However, the rate diminished to .03 between 2007 and 2015.

The rate of overdose deaths linked to only synthetic opioids — such as tramadol and fentanyl but not methadone — increased sevenfold from 0.1 in 2002 to 0.7 in 2015.

Research published in May revealed that some factors linked to teen drug use and addiction in affluent communities included attending prestigious high schools, having access to disposable income, and residing in wealthy neighborhoods. These determinants also increased the likelihood of a teen having an addiction during their 20s.

The paper’s lead author, Professor Suniya S. Luthar from Arizona State University, explained that a teen’s disposable income plays a critical role in accessing… (continue reading)