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Research

Study shows most pre-teen suicide attempts happen because of misuse of medicines

We have always considered suicide to be a very sensitive topic. Little do we talk about it in normal circumstances. There are many depressing stories that go away without ever people knowing about it.

You are wrong if you thought suicide was primarily an adult phenomenon. It’s not only adults who are suiciding. Studies have shown rates to be equally high for children and pre-teens individuals. What is even more startling is that the majority of the non-adults kill themselves through the use of over the counter or prescription medicines.

The cases have been rising at an alarming rate. There is a need more than ever to be alerted about the issue before the problem exacerbates. Although reasons remain unclear, it is argued that lack of parental surveillance leads to drug misuse.

What did the study show?

The study was conducted by scientists associated with The New Jersey Poison Control. The findings showed an increasing trend in pre-teens suicide, cause being attributed to a drug overdose.

For the purpose of analysis, researchers looked into data of about 100 cases of pre-teen attempted suicides. These cases were reported to the New Jersey Poison Control Center since January 2018. On a further look at the data, it was revealed that as many as 68 attempts were made by children who were just 12 years old. Around 20 were 11 years old and the rest 12 were below the age of 11. That being said, there was something else noticeable. 80 of the total cases were attempted by preteen girls which raises another important concern.

A study of similar type was last conducted in 2010. From what is observed there has been a 140 per cent increase in the pre-teen suicide attempts. More importantly, girls are being overrepresented in the data. According to health experts, pre-teen girls are more likely to undergo attempts while boys have a higher probability of completing suicide. Obviously, there are a lot of reasons but one can argue that social norms have a big role to play.

Rise in pre-teen suicide attempts

The study by NJPC is just a small attempt to raise a vital issue in hand. A problem at such a massive scale has never been observed before. We know of the cases that have been recorded. It is believed that an equal number of cases, unfortunately, go unreported. All instances of suicide should be strictly considered irrespective of who the individual is.

That being said, there are ways that can be adopted to ensure pre-teens are safe from trying. For example, the empirical data has shown that most attempts are made through the misuse of prescription medicines. The only way for children to have access to such medications is when the parents do not keep them in a safe place. Thereby, it is pertinent, that all medicines should be kept well out of the reach.

The study at the same time also tells us about the vitality of parental surveillance. All activities of children should be checked and remain within certain boundaries. If you find your child to be suffering from any issue, talk to them. Suicide is a serious issue and a collective effort is required to bring the rates down.

Samuel Mayer

Samuel has been part of Top Health Journal for quite a while now. He has immense interest in medicine and thoroughly enjoys writing about this theme. His philosophy is: write simple and short, always assuming your reader to be a layman who knows nothing about the topic. Twitter- @SamuelM54534849

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