Suicide attempts by poisoning on rise among US youth
Suicide attempts by poisoning among youngsters have more than doubled, and more than tripled for girls and young women in the last one decade in the US, says a study.
"Among youth in 2010-2018, there was a 141 per cent increase in suicide attempts by poisoning, reported to US poison centres, which is concerning," said study co-author Henry Spiller from Nationwide Children's Hospital in the US.
The study, published in the 'Journal of Pediatrics', evaluated the incidence and outcomes from intentional suspected-suicide through poisoning among children and young adults, aged 10-24 years, between 2000 and 2018.
In the 19-year period of the study, more than 1.6 million intentional suspected-suicide poisoning cases among youth and young adults were reported to US poison centres.
More than 71 per cent (1.1 million) of those were female.
According to previous research, suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people aged 10-24 years. Also, while males die by suicide more frequently than females, females attempt suicide more than males.
Poisoning is the most common way that someone attempts suicide and third most common method of suicide in adolescents, with higher rates in females.
According to experts at Nationwide Children's, parents should check in regularly with their children, ask them directly how they are doing and if they have ever had thoughts about ending their life.
"There is no need to wait until there is a major crisis to talk about a plan to manage emotional distress. Actually, a good time to talk directly about suicide or mental health is when things are going well," said John Ackerman from Nationwide Children's Hospital.