Buprenorphine Ingested by Kids, Up 215% in 3 Years
According to a new report on WebMD, children have been more frequently exposed to a medication over the years that was intended for opioid addiction treatment and some of the kids have died as a result of ingesting the drug. Buprenorphine, the opioid medication used to aid in treatment for opioid addiction, is a partial opioid agonist that was designed to help addicts wean off opioids, but it is now responsible for thousands of cases of exposure to children as well as several overdose deaths of children.
Kids Exposed to Buprenorphine
While buprenorphine is intended for opioid addiction treatment, it was discovered that far over 11,000 emergency calls were made to the U.S. poison control centers from 2007 to 2016 due to children having ingested the opioid medication.
Buprenorphine, which has become known as a controversial drug already, has resulted in some dangerous, unintended consequences. A total of 86% of the emergency calls for buprenorphine exposure were related to children under 6 years old. Almost every case was accidental, and 11 children died.
However, there was a portion of the estimated 11,000 emergency cases of buprenorphine exposure that were intentional. An approximate 75% of the children and young adults between the ages of 13 and 19 that were exposed to buprenorphine had intentionally taken the drug – and four died as a result.
Out of the approximate 11,000 children, the overall rate of exposure [per 1 million] significantly increased by 215.6% between 2007 and 2010, according to CNN. Then, the rate dropped between 2010 and 2013, only to increase again by 2016.
If kids are getting into their relatives’ medicine cabinets and either accidentally or intentionally ingesting buprenorphine, then proper lock up is essential in preventing children from reaching and abusing the medication. It is critical to keep medications like buprenrophine far out of the reach of children. Locking these bottles up is also effective. Children and teens should not be able to get to this medication, especially because it can have deadly consequences.
Opioid Addiction Treatment
While buprenorphine can be used to help wean addicts off opioids, there are alternative, effective treatment options available as well. The reality of buprenorphine is that it is not intended to be taken long-term. Addiction treatment at a drug rehab can be more effective because there is a medical detoxification period before any additional treatment occurs. This means that prior to receiving treatment for underlying issues, opioid addicts will already have been completely weaned off all substances and they can focus better on the following course of treatment.
The Watershed Addiction Treatment Programs offers a full continuum of care for the treatment of opioid addiction, which begins with a medical detox and inpatient drug rehab. The addiction treatment programs offered at The Watershed are designed to get addicts off all substances and treat the root cause of the problem. If you are struggling with an addiction to opioids or other substances, The Watershed is here to help with high quality treatment. For questions or immediate help, call The Watershed at 1-800-861-1768.Tags: Addiction, buprenorphine, Drug Overdose, drug overdose death, opioid overdose death, overdose