Quantcast

More children overdose on prescriptions as use rises for adults - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

More children overdose on prescriptions as use rises amongst adults

Posted: Updated:
SHREVEPORT, La. -

Louisiana Poison Center authorities say the items under your sink used to be their top concern. Now it's your medicine cabinet.

"Most of them were in reference to home things: personal care products, fertilizers, plants cleaning products," Louisiana Poison Center's Dr. Mark Ryan said. "We saw a smaller number of pharmaceutical calls. In 2007, we saw those lines cross."

Ryan has worked with Louisiana Poison Control more than twenty years. He says 20% of the group's roughly 88,000 calls a year come from hospitals and ERs across the state. Of the calls with child-age patients, there's been a change.

"Drugs are potentially much more dangerous that licking the air freshener or taking a bite of lipstick or a cream or a lotion," Ryan said. "We're seeing more serious outcomes, and it's rather disturbing."

A study in the medical journal Pediatrics backs up Ryan's observations.

The authors analyzed exposures and poisonings reported to U.S. poison centers from 2000 to 2009 and found the rise in child poisonings during that timeframe might be linked to the higher number of prescription drugs in homes.

The study focused on four of the most common drug groups: anti-diabetic, cholesterol-lowering, blood pressure and opioid-based pain killers.

The authors write: "Adult medications were statistically significantly associated with exposures and poisonings in children of all ages, with the strongest association observed for opiods. Across medications, the greatest risk was among children 0 to 5 years old, followed by 13- to 19-year-olds."

Young children usually took the pills unintentionally during "exploratory behavior."

Amongst teenagers, ingestions were intention, for recreation or self-harm.

Related article: Why do we wait six months to dispose of old medications?

KTBS 3 News spoke with a former drug user who says his addiction would often lead him to drastic measures.

He says he misused and abused prescription pills from the ages of 14 to 30. He started by getting Adderall from friends but within years got hooked on Lortab and eventually took everything from Xanax and Valium to ecstasy and cocaine.

When he couldn't buy prescriptions from friends, schoolmates, and coworkers... he took them.

"If I got in a place where I had been on it for awhile and got desperate, I would steal if from people, absolutely," he said.

Now clean and helping others turn their lives around, he says it's a common story.

"They [teenaged users] will get them from their friends or their parents so long as they don't get busted," he said. "If they're really going to abuse it, then they'll take to other measures. Some parents are totally aware of it. Other parentS are- you know- oblivious to it. They say, 'That's my little angel. He or she won't ever do that.'"

The Pediatrics study found opioid exposures far exceeded other drugs among teenagers.

It's a dangerous habit with deadly results.

Drug exposure death rates have more than tripled in the United States since 1990, with more than 75% of these deaths attributed to opioids.

The Caddo/Shreveport Narcotics Unit says their confiscation numbers mirror the higher household presence.

In 2011, the unit confiscated 1,008 pills in street busts. That number rose slightly to 1,059 in 2012 and reached 1,153 last year.

Authorities say these were just the pills taken in street-level arrests and do not include pills confiscated by other units.

In the Pediatrics study, authors said an unknown number of lives were likely saved after a 1970 packaging act and a 2008 task force mandated the use of child-resistant packaging. Although these programs are effective, exposures and poisonings happen. The authors say intervention programs need to address the source: the increasing number of adult prescriptions.

  • ArkLaTex SlideshowsMore>>

  • ArkLaTex Adoptable Pets

    ArkLaTex Adoptable Pets

    Friday, August 29 2014 6:12 PM EDT2014-08-29 22:12:16 GMT
    There are lots of animals in the Ark-La-Tex who are looking for that perfect home.
    There are lots of animals in the Ark-La-Tex who are looking for that perfect home.
  • KTBS 3 Viewer's Pets

    KTBS 3 Viewer's Pets

    Thursday, August 28 2014 7:00 PM EDT2014-08-28 23:00:16 GMT
    Viewer's petsViewer's pets
    Viewer's pets
    Viewer's pets
  • Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services Adoptable Children

    Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services Adoptable Children

    Thursday, August 28 2014 6:44 PM EDT2014-08-28 22:44:11 GMT
    DJanaeDJanae
    Foster/Adoption Parenting Minimum Qualifications and Steps to Certification Minimum Qualifications for Certification.
    Foster/Adoption Parenting Minimum Qualifications and Steps to Certification Minimum Qualifications for Certification.
  • NationalMore>>

  • Son of ex-Bush aide pleads guilty in Md. slaying

    Son of ex-Bush aide pleads guilty in Md. slaying

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 9:23 PM EDT2014-09-03 01:23:43 GMT
    The son of a former aide to President George W. Bush has pleaded guilty to killing a friend with a hatchet and will be committed to a state psychiatric facility.
    The son of a former aide to President George W. Bush has pleaded guilty to killing a friend with a hatchet and will be committed to a state psychiatric facility.
  • Recovery knocks 21 fish species from watch list

    Recovery knocks 21 fish species from watch list

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 9:11 PM EDT2014-09-03 01:11:56 GMT
    Twenty-one species of fish made the leap Tuesday off a watch list of seafood to avoid as unsustainably overfished, leaving conservationists and many fishermen and chefs celebrating the turnaround of a West Coast...
    Twenty-one species of fish made the leap Tuesday off a watch list of seafood to avoid as unsustainably overfished, leaving conservationists and many fishermen and chefs celebrating the turnaround of a West Coast fishing...
  • Apple: Some nude shots taken from stars' accounts

    Apple: Some nude shots taken from stars' accounts

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 8:41 PM EDT2014-09-03 00:41:52 GMT
    Apple says that some celebrity accounts were deliberately targeted and hacked, leading to the posting of nude photos online.
    Apple said Tuesday that hackers obtained nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence and other female celebrities by pilfering images from individual accounts rather than through a broader attack on the company's services.
  • KTBS 3 News Tips

    Send your news tip or story idea to the KTBS 3 Newsroom.  Enter your email address below to get started.

    * denotes required fields
    We're sorry, but only one entry is allowed per person.
    Thank you for your continued interest.

    Thank you for your submission to KTBS 3 News.  A member of our staff may contact you for more information.

Share Your Images
Powered by WorldNow
    Powered by WorldNow
    All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and KTBS. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.
    Advertising | EEO Public File | KTBS 3 Public File | KPXJ 21 Public File