Treating attention deficit hyperactivity deficiency syndrome (ADHD) is essential to ensure that children live meaningful lives. Medications are often used to treat the condition. However, a recent study showed that there are now so many younger kids who experience an overdose while using medication that is meant to treat ADHD.

A study titled, "Suspected Nonfatal Drug-Related Overdoses Among Youth in the US: 2016–2019" published in the journal Pediatrics revealed that more young kids and teens have dealt with an overdose on stimulant medication that is used to treat these mental conditions. The researchers are now calling for more efforts to be poured into identifying kids who were at risk for overdose. They were also calling for safe storage of prescription medications, and even those that are available over-the-counter.

Douglas Roehler, U.S. CDC's epidemiologist, said that among the youth, there has been an increase in the prescription of stimulants. He then added that with the high number of stimulants available to the public, the possibility of the drug being misused also increases. He emphasised that there is a need for a better understanding of interventions for those adolescents who are at risk of an overdose of stimulants.

The team of researchers reviewed charts of close to 90 million visits to the emergency department for non-fatal overdoses, in a period of three years. They looked at three age groups. There was the zero to 10 group, the 11 to 14 group, and the 15 to 24 group.

The researchers found that in all age groups, there was an increase in non-fatal stimulant overdoses. For the zero to 10 group, the increase was 3.3 percent. For the 11 to 14 group, it was at four percent and the 15 to 24 group had a 2.3 percent increase.

Roehler's team also saw an increase in deaths that involved stimulants since 2016. The studies were in the 15 to 24 age group. Hence it was kind of appalling to see a non-fatal overdose of stimulants in younger groups.

Study finds increasing number of non-fatal; stimulant overdose in kids. Photo: Pixabay

The team also found a two percent increase in an overdose of all drugs, including heroin and opioids. Heroin has been classified by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) as a Schedule 1 substance, which means that it has no currently accepted medical use and it has a high potential for abuse.