4. 4. 2024

Increase in drug poisoning and new drugs in children!

A wave of new addictive substances and poisoning with common drugs among children and adolescents has hit the Czech Republic. According to experts from the General Faculty Hospital in Prague (VFN), the number of drug intoxications in combination with addictive substances and alcohol among adolescents aged 12 to 18 has increased significantly in the last two years. The doctors of the children's clinic at VFN also save five children and teenagers a week. More than 90% of drug poisonings qualify as demonstrative suicide attempts. But there are also accepted extreme challenges from peers on social networks. For children under 15 years of age, paracetamol, antidepressants and ibuprofen are the most commonly prescribed drugs, while for teenagers, antidepressants, benzodiazepines and paracetamol lead.

According to the Summary Report on Addictions in the Czech Republic from 2022, cannabis is clearly the most frequently used illegal drug in the long term. The favorite among non-cannabis substances is kratom. Psychoactive HHC became last year's leader among drugs in general. But it is not only drugs that young people are using more and more often. There is an alarming increase in the number of children and adolescents in our country who abuse various tranquilizers or sleeping pills, ibuprofen or paralen, for example, often in combination with alcohol. This is also confirmed by the data of the Toxicology Information Center (TIS) of the General University Hospital in Prague. "Since 2021, we have seen an enormous increase in consultations related to suicide attempts by children and young people," is presented by the head physician of the TIS Clinic of Occupational Medicine 1. LF UK and VFN MUDr. Kateřina Kotíková, Ph.D., and specifies: "There has been a significant increase in inquiries for children under 15 years of age, especially since April 2021, when regular face-to-face classes at primary schools started again after the long-term closure of schools. From 200 consulted suicide attempts for girls and 37 for boys in 2019, the figures rise to 469 girls and 59 boys in 2023.”

In the vast majority of cases, according to TIS, it was a question of medication misuse. For children under 15 years of age, in the last two years, paracetamol was in first place, antidepressants in second place and ibuprofen in third place. Antidepressants, benzodiazepines and paracetamol for adolescents. The dynamics of HHC and kratom consultations over the past ten months are similarly alarming. For example, the increase in HHC abuse consultations quadrupled in February 2024.

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