A new study found a 27% increase in suspected suicide attempts by poisoning among U.S. children and teenagers between 2015 and 2020.
The most common substances involved in suicidal self-poisonings were acetaminophen and ibuprofen, HealthDay reports.
Researchers studied suspected suicide attempts by poisoning among children and teens ages 6 to 19. The total number of suspected suicides by self-poisoning increased from 75,248 in 2015 to 93,532 in 2020. Girls accounted for 77.9% of self-poisoning cases. The largest increase in the rate of suspected suicides occurred in children ages 10 to 12.
“We need to be vigilant for the warning signs associated with suicide risk in our children,” lead researcher Christopher Holstege, M.D., of the University of Virginia School of Medicine, said in a news release. “Our study is one of a number that demonstrates that we are experiencing an unprecedented mental health crisis in younger age groups. As a society, we must commit more resources to the mental health needs of our children.”