Prescription Opioid Exposures Among Children and Adolescents in the United States: 2000–2015
Objectives: This study analyzes and compares exposures to prescription opioids among abstract children and adolescents younger than 20 years old in the United States.
Methods: Data from the National Poison Data System for 2000 through 2015 were analyzed.
Results: Poison control centers received reports of 188 468 prescription opioid exposures among children aged <20 years old from 2000 through 2015. The annual number and rate of exposures increased early in the study period, but declined after 2009, except for buprenorphine exposures, which increased during the last 3 study years.
Conclusion: Prescription opioid–related HCF admissions and serious medical outcomes were higher among teenagers. Contrary to trends for other prescription opioids, exposures to buprenorphine have increased in recent years; children aged 0 to 5 years accounted for almost 90% of buprenorphine exposures. These findings indicate that additional prevention efforts are needed.