Rate of U.S. Kids Attempting Suicide by Overdose Rose During Pandemic



By Cara Murez 

HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, April 21, 2023 (HealthDay Information) — The variety of youngsters who tried suicide utilizing over-the-counter or simply accessible medicines is up sharply, a brand new examine exhibits.

This analysis spotlights a pediatric psychological well being disaster, stated researchers from the College of Virginia Well being System, who reviewed information on reported suicide makes an attempt that had been reported to the Nationwide Poison Knowledge System in 2021.

“This vital improve in suicide makes an attempt through the pandemic shocked us,” stated Dr. Christopher Holstege, medical director of the Blue Ridge Poison Heart at UVA Well being. “We’re alarmed on the dramatic improve in suicide makes an attempt in such a younger inhabitants, which continues to escalate in accordance with our information.”

Suspected suicide makes an attempt by poisoning in 10- to 19-year-olds that had been reported to poison facilities elevated by 30% in 2021.

Among the many youthful youngsters in that age group, these ages 10 to 12, suicide makes an attempt had been up 73% in comparison with 2019. In 13- to 15-year-olds, the speed of suspected suicide makes an attempt by poisoning elevated 48.8%.

“These findings counsel that the psychological well being of kids and adolescents would possibly nonetheless be affected by the pandemic, elevating issues about long-term penalties, particularly provided that earlier tried suicide has been discovered to be the strongest predictor of subsequent demise by suicide,” the researchers wrote in a paper outlining the findings.

Researchers additionally famous a rise in suicide makes an attempt by women — up 36.8% between 2019 and 2021 amongst 10- to 19-year-olds.

In all, women accounted for 81.2% of the suspected suicide makes an attempt on this age group, up from 77% in 2019.

Total calls to the nation’s poison facilities dropped 3.1% from 2019 to 2021.

An earlier UVA Well being examine discovered that suspected suicide makes an attempt by poisoning amongst 6- to 19-year-olds elevated 26.7% between 2015 and 2020.

Children most frequently used the widespread ache relievers acetaminophen and ibuprofen of their suicide makes an attempt. The antidepressants sertraline and fluoxetine and the over-the-counter antihistamine diphenhydramine had been additionally ceaselessly used.

The findings had been printed April 21 within the U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

The analysis workforce beneficial a complete method to suicide prevention by means of partnerships amongst households, lecturers, psychological well being professionals and public well being leaders.

Additionally they advised contemplating security measures. These may embrace public schooling initiatives on the protected storage of over-the-counter medicines and in addition the supply of America’s poison facilities to assist. The workforce additionally beneficial elevated promotion of the nationwide 988 Suicide and Disaster Lifeline for folks experiencing a psychological well being disaster.

“As a society, we have to come collectively in a multi-disciplinary method and strategize on the best way to greatest mitigate this quickly escalating risk to our youth,” Holstege stated.

Extra data

The American Psychological Affiliation has extra on youngsters’s psychological well being through the pandemic.



SOURCE: College of Virginia Well being System, information launch, April 20, 2023