- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The death rate for teenagers who overdose on drugs has increased 19 percent within a one year period and while the majority of deaths were unintentional, young females were twice as more likely to commit suicide by overdose than males.

The data is from the latest survey of the National Vital Statistics System and researchers recorded 772 deaths from overdose for adolescents aged 15 to 19 in the year 2015.

Compared to previous years, overdose deaths for this age group more than doubled on the period from the late 1990s to the early 2000s – from 1.6 deaths per 100,000 in 1999 to 4.2 in 2007.

However, overdose deaths were on a decline during the next seven years – with 3.1 overdose deaths per 100,000 in 2014.

Yet that number rose to 3.7 deaths from overdose in 2015, representing a 19 increase.

The researchers highlight that the majority of overdoses were related to opioid use, specifically heroin, which caused three times as many deaths in 2015 compared to 1999. Deaths related to the use of synthetic opioids – such as fentanyl and others – increased from 0.1 in 2002 to 0.7 in 2015.

While drug overdose rates were higher for males than females, girls were twice as likely to commit suicide by overdose than boys.

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