May, 26

    Extra teenagers and younger adults are overdosing proper after getting a prescription for psychological well being medication

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    NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — A rising variety of teenagers and younger adults are overdosing on psychological well being drugs, a brand new research reveals. Concerningly, a staff at Rutgers College discovered that most of the overdoses are going down shortly after younger sufferers get a prescription for these medication from their physician.

    The research discovered a excessive variety of these overdoses contain a category of drug known as benzodiazepine (BZD), which incorporates drugs like Xanax. Different teenagers and younger adults overdosed on psychostimulants like Adderall. All of those medication are widespread remedies for psychological well being points comparable to ADHD and nervousness.

    Whereas many individuals who overdose on medication or prescription drugs use substances they shouldn’t be touching, researchers say a good portion have a respectable prescription and motive for taking the capsules they ultimately misuse. With that in thoughts, the staff examined how typically folks between 15 and 24 years-old overdosed on BZD or stimulants and what number of just lately acquired a physician’s prescription for these drugs.

    Current prescriptions are resulting in speedy hassle

    Between 2016 and 2018, outcomes present 29 p.c of the youths who overdosed on BZDs acquired a written prescription inside one month of their overdose. Greater than 4 in 10 (42%) acquired a prescription for BZDs inside six months of their overdose. One in 4 youths overdosing on psychological well being stimulants acquired a physician’s prescription a month earlier than the incident. Almost 4 in 10 (39%) had their prescription for lower than six months.

    Research authors additionally discovered that younger adults who deliberately overdosed on BZDs and stimulants had been extra more likely to have a current prescription than those that suffered an unintended overdose.

    “Given {that a} substantial proportion of youth with overdoses involving BZD or stimulants have prescriptions for these medication within the prior months, doctor encounters when these drugs are prescribed might provide a possibility to establish youth at excessive threat of overdose,” says corresponding writer Greta Bushnell, a member of the Middle for Pharmacoepidemiology and Therapy Sciences at Rutgers Institute for Well being, Well being Care Coverage and Growing older Analysis (IFH), in a college launch.

    Based on the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention, 4,777 U.S. youths died of a drug overdose in 2019. BZD use accounted to 727 of those overdoses and 902 concerned psychostimulants.

    “These findings spotlight the necessity for physicians to evaluate youth for self-injury threat who’re prescribed BZDs and stimulants, in addition to the necessity for various efforts to forestall intentional and unintentional overdoses,” Bushnell provides. “Additional, because the potential for hurt with BZDs and stimulants will increase with different substances comparable to alcohol, illicit medication, and opioids, discussions round limiting concurrent substance use is warranted.”

    The research is revealed within the journal Pediatrics.

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