Number of Children Hospitalized by Opioid Overdose Almost Doubles

The study from 2004 to 2015 by the University of Chicago involved 31 children's hospitals about 20 percent of US kids hospitals. Opioid-related stays spiked from almost 800 to 1,500

"We do believe there's a direct relationship to the adult opioid crisis", Dr. Jason Kane, associate professor of pediatrics and critical care at Comer Children's Hospital in Chicago, told CNBC.

The study, found in the Pediatrics journal, examined the number of children between the ages of one and 17 who were taken to the hospital for opioid-related overdoses.

"Even in children under 6 years old, opioids now account for the majority of drug poisonings", the researchers wrote in their report.

The hospitalizations due to pediatric opioid overdose have doubled in the last 14 years, a new research reveals. Of those patients, 37% required mechanical ventilators to assist breathing, and 20.3% required medication to raise dangerously low blood pressure.

The researchers identified methadone ingestions, with almost 20 percent of children below 6 years old being admitted with methadone ingestion.

As efforts to reduce adult opioid overdoses have not led to fewer pediatric overdoses, the USA must take additional actions to reduce opioid exposure in children, the researchers concluded. Not only did the complete number of opioid affiliated admissions grow but the associations of the both hospital and PICU admissions grew as well.

Opioid use disorder affects an estimate of 2.4 million Americans. He also hopes more responsible prescribing practices and laws will start to bring the number of child hospitalizations down in the years to come. The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control describes OUD as a problematic pattern of opioid use that causes significant impairment or distress.

And in 2016 a team at the Yale School of Medicine found the number of kids who received emergency treatment for a drug overdose more than doubled between 1997 and 2012.

A needle used for shooting heroin and other opioids lies in the street in the Kensington section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., October 26, 2017. Almost 166 people die each day due to opioids, prompting the United States Department of Health and Human Services to declare opioid addiction a public health emergency.

In the USA, the opioid consumption has increased in the last years and there is no sign it will get lower soon.

Sessions have directed the PIL Task Force to establish a working group to improve coordination and data sharing across the federal government to better identify violations of law and patterns of fraud related to the opioid epidemic; evaluate possible changes to the regulatory regime governing opioid distribution; and recommend changes to laws. We will use civil penalties.

"It's certainly not uncommon for the people we treat here, the adults we treat here, to have children in their home", Parsons said.