Mortality by opioid poisoning in children and teenagers and opioid prescriptions

Elise Cranfield, Elizabeth Ashcroft, Patrice Forget* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

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Background: No comparisons between mortality from opioids in children and teenagers and opioid prescription patterns have been made in England. Aim: To investigate if an association exists between mortality rates from opioid poisoning in persons aged 19 years old and under and community opioid prescription in England. Methods: A retrospective analysis was undertaken for 2016 to 2019, comparing community opioid prescriptions and mortality rates from opioid poisoning. Results: The number of opioid prescriptions decreased over the study period (− 2.4%, p < 0.001). Most deaths due to opioid poisoning in children and teenagers were seen in those under one year old and those aged between 15 and 19 years old (Kruskal-Wallis: p = 0.12; Dunn’s test: p = 0.01). Deaths in all age ranges did not change significantly (Poisson Regression Analysis: p > 0.05). Conclusion: Despite the reduction in community opioid prescriptions, there was no decrease in the number of deaths in children and teenagers due to opioid poisoning.

Original languageEnglish
Article number569
Number of pages5
JournalBMC Pediatrics
Publication statusPublished - 13 Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:


  • Children
  • Opioid
  • Poisoning
  • Prescriptions
  • Teenagers


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