Study: Youth at­tempt sui­cide with meds

Edmonton Sun - - LIFE - Lisa Ra­pa­port Reuters

young peo­ple who at­tempt sui­cide by poi­son­ing of­ten use an­tide­pres­sants or over­the-counter medicines like ac­etaminophe­n, ibupro­fen and as­pirin, a u.s. study sug­gests.

For the study, re­searchers ex­am­ined u.s. Poi­son cen­ter data from 2000-2018 on 1.68 mil­lion sus­pected cases of sui­cide by self-poi­son­ing among peo­ple ages 10 to 25. Over­all, one in four cases re­sulted in se­ri­ous or po­ten­tially life-threat­en­ing med­i­cal is­sues.

rates of se­ri­ous med­i­cal is­sues af­ter self-poi­son­ing rose with age, from 20% of at­tempted sui­cides among 10 to 12-year-olds to 28% among 22- to 25-year-olds.

More than 90% of cases in­volved phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, the study found. Two of the sub­stances most of­ten used among all age groups were over-the-counter painkiller­s and an­tide­pres­sants which, com­bined, made up more than one-third of the sui­cide at­tempts in­volv­ing poi­son.

“It is likely be­cause th­ese are so widely avail­able, in al­most every home,” said dr. Henry spiller, lead au­thor of the study and direc­tor of the cen­tral Ohio Poi­son cen­ter at Na­tion­wide chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal in columbus.

“ad­di­tion­ally, they can be pur­chased eas­ily and cheaply,” spiller said by email. “In ther­a­peu­tic doses th­ese med­i­ca­tions are quite safe but in very large doses, ac­etaminophe­n causes liver fail­ure and as­pirin causes meta­bolic aci­do­sis, seizures and coma.”

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