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As the nation continues to confront an epidemic of opioid and prescription painkiller addiction and overdoses, its victims seem to flood emergency rooms. But a study out Monday highlights a surprising group of patients suffering from opioid poisoning at rates that have also marked a dramatic increase: adolescents, children and even toddlers.

Because of what the authors call “the now widespread availability of prescription opioids in the United States” — with retail sales of these medications quadrupling from 1999 to 2010 — they sought to examine for the first time the number of pediatric hospitalizations related to these drugs.

The findings, they say, indicate a need for comprehensive strategies that not only continue to tamp down on opioid prescriptions, but also step up efforts to raise awareness about the packaging and safe storage of these painkillers.

… Read More

Image: By Adam from UK – Temazepam 10mg tablets-1, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10764568

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