19815 Bay Branch Rd
Andalusia, Alabama 36420
(334) 222-2523
HELPLINE: 1-877-530-0002



SCAMHC is an approved Mental Health site for the National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment program.  Find out the program details and see if you qualify by visiting: http://nhsc.hrsa.gov/

SCAMHC is an Equal Opportunity Provider and Employer and maintains a Drug-Free Workplace





powered by centersite dot net
Child & Adolescent Development: Overview
Basic InformationMore InformationLatest News
School Closures Will Force Many U.S. Health Care Workers to Stay HomeGoing Easy on Yourself Is Key to Parenting Through the PandemicParents, Arm Your Kids Against COVID-19 With Good Hand-Washing HabitsToo Little Sleep Takes Toll on Kids' Mental Health: StudyU.S. Kids, Teens Eating Better But Nutrition Gaps PersistHow to Keep Housebound Kids Busy During a PandemicCalming Your Child's Coronavirus FearsAnother Study Finds COVID-19 Typically Mild for KidsSoap vs. Coronavirus: Best Hand-Washing Tips for You and Your KidsKids Get Mild COVID-19 Symptoms, But Chance of Transmission High: StudyWhen Chronic Pain Leads to Depression in KidsPost-Game Snacks May Undo Calorie-Burning Benefit of Kids' SportsPick Summer Camps Carefully When Your Kid Has Allergies, AsthmaKids Raised by Grandparents More Likely to Pile on Pounds: StudyKeep Your Kids Safe, Warm in Wintertime FunHow to Dispel Your Child's Fears About the New CoronavirusDiabetes Among U.S. Young, Especially Asians, Continues to ClimbMom-to-Be's Cosmetics Chemicals Could Lead to Heavier BabyMeds May Not Prevent Migraines in KidsAHA News: For Kids With Heart Defects, the Hospital Near Mom May Matter1 in 4 Gets Unneeded Antibiotics at Children's HospitalsVitamin D in Pregnancy Doesn't Curb Kids' AsthmaFirst Drug Approved for Treatment of Peanut Allergy in ChildrenWhat's the Best Treatment for a Child's Broken Bone?Are Antibiotics a Recipe for Obesity in Childhood?This Year's Flu Season Taking Deadly Aim at KidsWhy Are Fewer U.S. Kids Going to Pediatricians?Severe Deprivation in Childhood Has Lasting Impact on Brain SizeHealth Tip: What Your Child Can do About BullyingWildfires Send Kids to ERs for Breathing ProblemsTV Can Be a Good Influence on Kids' Eating HabitsWould Tighter Swimming Rules at Public Beaches, Lakes and Rivers Save Lives?U.S. Doctors Often Test, Treat Kids UnnecessarilyHealth Tip: Safety Steps if Your Child is Home AloneHealth Tip: Help Your Child Safely Lose WeightAmericans Need to Tackle Youth Obesity: U.S. Task ForceGenes, Family Are Key Predictors of School SuccessKids' 'Microbiome' May Play Key Role in AsthmaA Puppy in Santa's Sack? Probably Not, Say ParentsMore Kids, Teens Landing in ERs After Opioid OverdosesGetting Active Helps Kids' Hearts, Even in the ObeseWhen Does Your Child's Flu Merit an ER Visit?Health Tip: Managing Hearing Loss in ChildrenHealth Tip: Is My Child Too Sick to Go to School?Differences Found in Brains of Kids Born to Depressed ParentsSecondhand Smoke Starts Kids on Path to Heart Disease: StudyHealth Tip: Choosing a PediatricianMany Kids Traveling Overseas Aren't Vaccinated Against MeaslesCould Obesity Alter a Child's Brain Structure?Dramatic Rise in Eye Injuries From BB and Paintball Guns
Questions and AnswersVideosLinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

ADHD: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Childhood Mental Disorders and Illnesses

More Kids, Teens Landing in ERs After Opioid Overdoses

HealthDay News
by By Steven ReinbergHealthDay Reporter
Updated: Dec 23rd 2019

new article illustration

MONDAY, Dec. 23, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- An alarming number of young people are showing up in America's emergency rooms after overdosing on opioid painkillers, a new study finds.

In a study of more than 200,000 cases of kids misusing and abusing opioid painkillers, researchers found that, although the number of such incidents has dropped since 2005, life-threatening cases have increased.

"Parents and pediatricians need to be alert to the risk of self-harm, misuse and abuse of opioids in children and adolescents," said senior researcher Dr. Jocelyn Grunwell. She's an assistant professor of pediatric critical care medicine at Emory University in Atlanta.

"Much of the research on the opioid crisis has focused on the impact to adults; however, children and adolescents in the U.S. are also negatively affected by the opioid epidemic," Grunwell added.

Despite efforts to control access to prescription opioids, the number of hospital admissions for opioid poisonings among children and teens, especially after an attempted suicide, is increasing, she said.

"Parents need to remove, or restrict access to, opioids," Grunwell advised, "and seek mental health services for children and teens at risk for self-harm and opioid abuse."

In the study, the researchers found that the number of children admitted to intensive care units rose from about 7% of more than 80,000 poisonings between 2005 and 2009, to nearly 10% of more than 48,400 poisonings between 2015 and 2018.

The increase in the number of kids winding up in intensive care units has been driven by possible suicide attempts among those aged 18 and younger, the study authors said. The most common overdoses involved methadone, fentanyl and heroin.

Using the National Poison Data System database for accidental or intentional opioid overdoses among babies and children under age 19, the researchers found that between 2005 and 2018, more than 207,000 cases were reported to 55 poison control centers.

Most child drug poisonings did not need an intensive care admission and caused either a minor reaction, such as drowsiness, or none at all.

But the number of kids who needed specialist treatment increased throughout the time of the study.

The researchers found a similar increase in psychiatric unit admissions. The percentage of these admissions more than doubled, from 4% of more than 80,000 cases between 2005 and 2009, to 8% of nearly 48,500 cases between 2015 and 2018.

Also, the number of children needing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) went from 1% of 5,200 cases to 3% of nearly 4,600 cases over the study period, the findings showed.

The report was published online Dec. 20 in the journal Clinical Toxicology.

Linda Richter is director of policy research and analysis at the Center on Addiction, in New York City. She said, "The authors are certainly justified in concluding that more attention needs to be paid to adolescent mental health to address the alarming increase in opioid-related suicide attempts, but clearly much more needs to be done to prevent the overwhelming proportion of poisonings that derives from unintentional or accidental exposures in the home among very young children."

The most common cause of the poisoning incidents across time has been unintentional, or accidental, exposures in the home, Richter said.

For parents, she suggests:

  • Limiting the number of opioids and other addictive substances in the home.
  • Properly storing and disposing of prescription medications and other addictive substances.
  • Keeping them out of sight and out of reach, storing them in their original, child-resistant packaging and disposing of any unused product as soon as possible.
  • Setting a good example for children when it comes to prescription drug use.
  • Knowing the symptoms of exposure and calling a poison control center if exposure is suspected.
  • Calling 911 if a child is unresponsive or having trouble breathing.
  • Providing health care professionals with honest, accurate and detailed information about the potential exposure incident.

"Telling the truth could save a child's life," Richter said.

More information

For more on painkiller overdoses, head to the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse for Teens.