According to the study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), in the past 20 years, nearly 9,000 children and young adults have passed away from opioid poisonings. Researchers at Yale School of Medicine examined data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) between the years 1999 and 2016. They discovered that the majority of reported deaths due to opioids – 6,561 – involved prescription drugs and 81 percent were unintentional.
“This study shows that the opioid epidemic has spread to all segments of society,” Dr. Julie Gaither, one of the study’s authors, told ABC News. “Even the very youngest in this country have been affected. And the crisis is likely to remain a persistent public health problem in the young unless parents, public health officials and clinicians — including physicians who prescribe opioids to adults — begin to consider the risks that opioids pose to children and teens.”