(RNN) – America’s opioid crisis has no age limits.
More than 100 children test positive for opioid addiction or dependency every single day in U.S. emergency rooms, according to a study presented Monday to the American Academy of Pediatrics annual conference in Chicago.
The number of emergency department visits by patients 21 and younger rose from 32,235 in 2008 to 46,626 in 2013.
An average of 135 children per day were testing positive for addiction or dependency on prescription painkillers, as well as drugs such as heroin, said Dr. Veerjalandar Allareddy, one of the authors of the abstract and director of a pediatric intensive unit in Iowa.
“In our opinion, this is a pediatric public health crisis,” he said.