Drug-related ER Visits Involve Suicide

WASHINGTON, July 13 (UPI) — Almost 10 percent of drug-related U.S. emergency room visits involved teen suicide attempts — 72 percent by female teens, U.S. health officials say.

A study conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration finds the drug-related hospital emergency department visit by an adolescent as a suicide attempt is double the rate of those age 25 and older.

Prescription drugs were involved in more than 9 out of 10 of these drug-related suicide attempt cases, but there were differences in the drugs used by different age groups and genders.

For example, acetaminophen was the most commonly used substance involved in hospital emergency department visits by female adolescents attempting suicide — 28.5 percent — while 49.9 percent of females age 25 or older used anti-anxiety drugs.

Similarly, adolescent males admitted for drug-related suicides were more than three times as likely to have used anti-psychotic drugs compared with 14.3 percent of their female counterparts.

More than 90.2 percent of teens who sought hospital treatment for attempted suicide with antidepressants received follow-up care, but 52.4 percent of adolescent cases involving ibuprofen received therapy. More than 83 percent of the cases involving adolescents using alcohol received follow-up care, but 59.4 percent of alcohol-related cases among those age 25 got treatment for alcohol, the study said.

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