“More than one in three Americans are prescribed opioids, National Survey on Drug Use and Health data shows. A new study indicates that the trend extended to children, who legally use the drug at as young as 2 years old, to treat pain following minor dental procedures or outpatient surgeries.
One in 10 children enrolled in Tennessee’s Medicaid program were prescribed opioids between 1999 and 2014, concurrent with the onset of the opioid crisis, a study published in the journal Pediatrics found. Researchers argued that the drugs, all prescribed to children without severe conditions, caused “unnecessary exposure” to potential harm, and suggested that health care providers consider therapeutic options before prescribing the potent painkillers.
Over 15 years, Tennessee physicians prescribed more than 1.3 million opioids as pain relievers to children and teens between the ages of 2 and 17. While the Food and Drug Administration recommends opioids for minors with “severe conditions” such as cancer and sickle cell anemia, more than 30 percent of the drugs were prescribed after dental procedures in lieu of nonaddictive medications like ibuprofen.”
Source: Newsweek.com – July 16, 2018