By Sy Mukherjee
March 5, 2018

Hey there, readers—happy Monday! This is Sy.

By now, the story of the opioid addiction and overdose crisis is well-known. But a new study published in the journal Pediatrics homes in on how the epidemic is afflicting America’s children—including a near-doubling of child hospitalizations due to opioid overdoses between 2004 and 2015.

These overdoses weren’t just driven by adolescents (children between the ages of 12 and 17) experimenting with or abusing addictive drugs they had in their reach, though. A significant number of accidental hospitalizations afflicting younger kids actually involved methadone, which is used to treat other kinds of opioid dependence in the first place (and has become an increasingly commonplace prescription in the midst of the epidemic).

“[O]ne-third [of opioid-related hospitalizations] were for kids under age 6. And while most children had overdosed on prescription opioids or illicit narcotics like heroin, a significant number of children under 6—about 20%—were treated for methadone overdoses,” wrote the study authors.

Read on for the day’s news.

Sy Mukherjee


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