The number of young children and teens hospitalized for overdosing on opioid painkillers have spiked nearly threefold in recent years, a new study finds.
Among children under 10, most of the painkiller poisonings were accidental, with children “eating them like candy,” said lead researcher Julie Gaither, a postdoctoral fellow in biostatistics at the Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn. Among teens, most were accidental overdoses, although some were suicide attempts.
In both age groups, the increase in cases involving painkillers like OxyContin, Percocet and Vicodin was dramatic.
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