While Teen Drug Use is Down Deadly Opioid Overdoses Are On The Rise
According to a new report put out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drug overdose deaths among older American teenagers increased in 2015. This was after a steady decline and in spite of the fact that overall drug use among this group has declined. The research showed that between 1999 and 2015, drug overdose death rates for 15- to 19-year-olds more than doubled. In total, there were 772 drug overdose deaths among older teens in 2015, with two-thirds more deaths among males than females. Between 2014 and 2015, the overdose death rate for males in this age group rose 15 percent. For women the rate increased 35 percent between 2013 and 2015.
Noteworthy is that over 80 percent of overdose deaths were unintentional, the rest were due to suicides or homicides involving drug overdose.
Opioids Are The Leading Cause of Teen Overdose
Heroin Use Among Teenagers Is Also More Prevalent
Opioids and prescription pain killers appear to be gateway drugs for heroin. Heroin is typically less expensive and widely available. Several states have passed laws limiting how many opioid pills doctors can prescribe at a time. While many teens begin with prescription opioids, others reach heroin after years of experimenting with other drugs.
There are some bright spots in this reports. According to this survey in 2016 drug use, other than marijuana, among teens is at its lowest point in decades. Over the last five years abuse of prescription opioids among 12th graders. Heroin use among 10th- and 12th-grade students remains very low.