Study: Youth attempt suicide with meds
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.”