Blue Ridge Poison Center seeing more cases of attempted suicide among children
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Experts at UVA Health say we are experiencing a crisis when it comes to death by suicide among children.
The Blue Ridge Poison Center says it looked at the increase in suspected suicide attempts by poisoning among adolescents.
“We use the National Poison Data System in this research,” Doctor Rita Farah said Thursday, April 20. “This is the database of the 55 U.S. poison centers.”
“We looked at the 10-to-19 year old age group, and that rate increase was 30% from 2019 to 2021,” Doctor Chis Holstege said. “I have a number of children who are at the University of Virginia who overdosed just in the last couple of days that we’re taking care of. So I see this as a crisis right now, regards to our society.”
Dr. Holstege says he is seeing more younger kids coming in for this crisis.
“Ages that I didn’t used to see attempting suicide by poisoning are now attempting it, and see a 73% increase in the 10-to-12 year old age group. It was pretty stunning,” the doctor said.
The two most common substances involved in the reported attempts were Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen.
“These age groups have a ready access to those products,” Dr. Holstege said. “The others that we saw are some of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.”
The data comes from acrss the country, but these doctors say they see it reflected in Charlottesville.
“When I first started here and started the program, we rarely saw the age group 9-to-12 years of age. And now we’re seeing these very young kids attempting suicide by poisoning, and I would say every week I’m seeing someone who’s coming in in that age group,” Dr. Holstege said.
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