11 November 2016 | By: Kevin Trieu
From 1997 to 2012, 13,052 children and teens ages 1-19 have been hospitalized due to prescription opioid poisoning. 176 of them have died. Children ages 1-4 were, more than likely, hospitalized due to accidental ingestion after their parents left pills in an easily accessible place, and teens over the age of 15 were hospitalized likely due to a suicide attempt. It is also important to keep in mind that a good portion of these teens were hospitalized due to overdosing after using recreationally.
Critics have tried to draw criticism on both doctors and parents. Parents for not storing their medications properly, and doctors for over-prescribing and not providing information on how to dispose of patient-prescribed medication.
I would like to believe that this story serves as a follow up to my John Oliver Story two weeks ago where John Oliver himself talked about America’s Opioid Epidemic in very much the same context.Now, we just have data and a reputable news source (not me) to back it up. The numbers are disheartening, but not irreversible. There are several things that we as a society can do to make sure that overdose will never happen to one of our kids anymore.
- Make sure that all opioids prescribed to you are stored in a hard to reach area and in a hard to open container to protect your 1-4 year old.
- Ask your doctor about proper disposal of extra pills in your cabinet, and dispose of your pills properly.
- Talk to your kids about opioid use and addiction.
What do you think about this story? Comment down below.
Link to the full story here.
Link to John Oliver story here.
For a story on the Surgeon General, Vivek Murthy’s, groundbreaking open letter to all US Doctors about opioids click here.