Teenagers Are Using Less Drugs, But Overdosing More On Heroin and Fentanyl

Fatal drug overdoses double among US teens

Fatal drug overdoses double among US teens

Police Capt. Joel Dolan said that there could be many reasons for the changing overdose trends and that he didn't have a definitive explanation for the increase in deaths.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new data this week showing that teen deaths linked to drug overdose have more than doubled over the past decade and a half, leading experts to fear that the nation's opioid epidemic may be affecting young people at higher rates than in previous years. After drug overdose deaths reached a peak 4.2% in 2007 and started to generally decline over the following seven years, there was a 20% increase in 2015.

But in 2015, the rate of overdoses among American teens increased by nearly one-fifth.

The data, which focus on adolescents ages 15-19, show that, while overdoses related to prescription drugs have decreased, deaths related to heroin and fentanyl are on the rise.

While the majority of overdoses were accidental, girls were more than twice as likely to have intentionally killed themselves. That being said, a higher percentage of drug overdose deaths among young women were deaths by suicide - 21.9% compared with 8.7% for young men. Drugs involved in the deaths included oxycodone, heroin, and street fentanyl. The rate of overdoses from synthetic opioids has gone up sixfold since 2002, and fatalities from heroin have tripled. Among boys, the death rate fell even more - by one-third.

At the same time, fewer teens are using illicit drugs other than marijuana.

"The relatively small numbers resulted in variability in rates, particularly in rates for specific drugs". Twenty-two people overdosed on cocaine.

Drug overdose deaths among teenagers rose sharply over a one-year period after almost seven years of decline after hitting a peak in 2007, according to federal data released Wednesday. Between 2013 and 2015, the number of teen girls dying of overdoses increased 35%.

"If the drugs are more potent, your chances of it (drug use) being fatal have perhaps increased", Curtin said.

"The best way to prevent drug addiction and overdose is to prevent people from abusing drugs in the first place, talking to youth and telling them - no good, really bad for you in every way", Trump said.

The opioid crisis was recently declared a national emergency.

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