"What Is Happening To Our Young People?" Teenage Drug Deaths Surge 20%

There has been no shortage of depressing headlines tied to America's opioid epidemic, and to that list we can add one more: A new study has found that the number of teens who died from overdoses climbed by nearly 20% in 2015 after declining for seven straight years, according to the Guardian. But while men represent two-thirds of all drug-related deaths, the recent climb in teenage fatalities has been disproportionately driven by women, as the Guardian explains.

“The jump in fatalities was driven by heroin and synthetic opioid use and by an increasing number of deaths among teenage girls. Deaths among teenagers represent a tiny portion of drug overdose deaths nationally – less than 2%.”

Last week, President Donald Trump informally declared the opioid epidemic a national emergency, and pledged to formulate a plan of action to curb the rising death toll. Presumably, the administration will follow some, if not all, of the recommendations made by a Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis. Led by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, the commission offered a few strategies for combating the epidemic in a preliminary report released earlier this summer. The recommendations include granting Medicaid waivers to all 50 states, allowing them to quickly eliminate barriers to drug treatment, and funding a federal incentives program to increase access to medication-assisted treatment programs.

The study's authors said they wanted to document the falling death rate among teenagers. However, it appears the data had other plans.

“We wanted to document that in this age group there had been a decline [in deaths],” said Sally Curtin, lead author of the study. “The trends were unique for this age group. But, once again, it did increase again between 2014 and 2015.”

The rate of teenage drug-related deaths declined by 27% between 2007 and 2014 even as the rate for all Americans skyrocketed. But most of that decline was reversed by the jump in fatalities that occurred during 2015. Like the broader crisis, the surge in teenage deaths has been driven by powerful synthetic opioids like fentanyl and carfentanil which can be as much as 100 times more powerful than morphine.

The report looked at the rate of overdose deaths for teens aged 15-19 between 1999 and 2015. Researchers found the rate of teens who died from a drug overdose dropped 26% between 2007 and 2014. Among boys, the death rate fell by one-third. But in 2015, the rate of overdoses among American teens increased by almost one-fifth. That year, 772 teens died of drug overdoses. The number of deaths in 2014 was 658, according to the Guardian.

Infographic: Teen Overdose Deaths Doubled From 1999 To 2015 | Statista

You will find more statistics at Statista

While the rate of teen boys overdosing dropped dramatically in the last decade, the rate of overdoses among girls held steady and then increased in the last two years. As one might expect, the fall in rates of drug-related deaths mirrored a decline in rates of drug use among teens – a trend that has persisted for nearly two decades.

“Indeed, fewer teens reported even trying drugs. A 40-year-running, nationally representative survey called Monitoring the Future recently recorded the lowest rates of drug, alcohol and tobacco use among middle and high school students since the 1990s.


The trend prompted researchers to question whether smartphones might be replacing the inclination of previous generations of teens to abuse drugs.”

The jump in fatalities was driven by heroin and synthetic opioid use and by an increasing number of deaths among teenage girls, who were twice as likely to die from intentional overdoses than their male peers.

“Traci Green, a professor at Brown University School of Medicine who studied the drug use habits of college-aged Rhode Islanders, said that the study reflects “a very messy use environment” in which heroin may be tainted with the synthetic opioid fentanyl, fentanyl may be pressed into illegal pills, and users may mix drugs such as opioids and benzodiazepines (typically used to treat anxiety).


“It is of course very upsetting and worth thinking about what is happening with our young people – your young men and your young women,” Green said. Deaths among “young women, we have known for a long time, happen for different reasons and present differently”.

Though the data examined in the study predates their deaths, two 13-year-old boys in the Utah ski-resort town of Park City died late last year after ingesting a synthetic opioid called U-47700, better known as “pinky.” It’s believed the boys obtained the drug legally by ordering it from a Chinese lab over the internet.

Their deaths made national news, and drew attention to what’s probably the most significant cause of the spike in teenage deaths: The fact that, thanks to the dark web, it’s now easier than ever for teens to order deadly drugs over the internet and have them shipped straight to their home.


Billy the Poet The Cooler King (not verified) Sat, 08/19/2017 - 18:38 Permalink

Government, media and academia have insisted that everyone must adapt themselves to the insane worldview of feminists, homosexuals, transsexuals, etc. When normal kids try to navigate through the delusional world of the "new normal" some of them go crazy tooSo instead of a few mentally ill people killing themselves because they don't fit in, we bend the world to their delusions and they still kill themselves and some of the normal kids also become crazy and kill themselves.Think of the poor kid on his first date who doesn't know exactly when he should ask permission to touch his girl's arm, reach for her hand, pull her close or kiss her goodnight. And the whole time he's hoping she's really a she.

In reply to by The Cooler King (not verified)

Paul Kersey DocMims Sat, 08/19/2017 - 19:32 Permalink

I grew up in a time when opportunities seemed to be unlimited. I flunked out of four colleges, and a fifth one took me anyway. I was fired from one job after another, but there was always another job out there that I could lie my way into. I leveraged myself to the eyeballs, and still found a friend with a lifesaver to pull me out. I grew up when the American Dream was alive and well, and there were unlimited second chances.

Today's young people will be the first generation in decades to make less than their parents did. One false move on facebook, and your reputation is ruined. One boss with a hard-on, and you can't get another job. One pissed-off landlord, and you can't find another place to rent. Or, you could buy one, if you weren't paying off a 20 year college loan debt.

Meanwhile, pushers in lab coats (doctors) are only too eager to get young folks on some psychotropic drug, or some addictive pain med, or Adderall, because even children today are diagnosed as hyperactive. Got to get everyone addicted from cradle to grave. Enough monthly doctor visits, and Doc buys a new boat.

If people have something to live for, they won't OD. If pushers in lab coats are sent to jail, drug connections are broken. If big pharma, the world's largest drug cartel, is broken up Teddy Roosevelt style, there would be less folks dying. If the American Dream were alive and well, our children might just want to stick around, above ground, a while longer.

In reply to by DocMims

not dead yet Paul Kersey Sat, 08/19/2017 - 21:36 Permalink

According to the media the rash of overdoses the last few years are from Fentynal and Carfentynal made in illegal labs in Mexico and China. Law enforcement are making huge busts of drugs but yet claim what they get is only 5 to 10% of the total coming into the country. Lots of over the counter cold medicines are kept behind the counter and must be signed for after a computer check to stop meth heads from using it to make their stuff. Yet we want to blame doctors and big pharma. There are some crooked docs out there that have been caught writing scrips till their hands bleed but they are a minority. States and people like to blame and sue docs and pharma because they have deep pockets and insurance. Drug dealers will kill you. One of the reasons the US is totally screwed is no wants to take responsibility for their actions and even worse are the idiots who think that's okay cuz they're "victims." Far too many people take the easy way out and blame corporations and government for every ill in society which blinds them to reality. No one forced people to stick that needle in their arm nor did anyone force those teens to attend those hugely popular raves where Ecstacy flows like water. No one forced the drunk driver with 6 previous drunk driving convictions to get loaded and finally kill someone with his car. Or the idiot who smokes 3 packs a day and dies from lung cancer and a jury made up of ignorant gullible people awards his family millions. Did the cig companies tie the guy down and force him to smoke their crap? In the entertainment media we glorify the use of drugs and booze. When you see a drunk guy do you condemn him? Nope, you just laugh and make fun of him, until he gets behind the wheel and his target is you. Americans are on the fast ride to hell willingly helped along with drugs and booze.It's people like you who who should STFU and quit whining about how the future is so bleak. We've never had it so good and things change so get over it. When the future gets here we'll know if it's better or worse. Stop listening to those with an agenda poisoning your mind for their financial benefit. If people like you think it's going to be so bad shoot yourselves now and let people with a more realistic outlook on life take your place. Yes there are problems but there have always been problems but we also have better tools today to solve problems. The past only looks good in the rear view mirror. I've been around for quite awhile and I sure wouldn't want to go back to the good old days. One good thing about the past is there were fewer whiners and doom and gloomers back then and no one made excuses for or claim they were victims when idiots did stupid things.

In reply to by Paul Kersey

Paul Kersey not dead yet Sat, 08/19/2017 - 22:36 Permalink

"It's people like you who who should STFU and quit whining about how the future is so bleak. We've never had it so good and things change so get over it."

I'll try to put this as delicately as possible, but you are either a complete ignoramus, or you are a lying sack of shit.

The US has 6% of the world's population, but ingests 80% of the world's prescription drugs, and incarcerates 25% of the world's incarcerated.

Doctors are the country's worst murderers for hire: "Medical Errors Are No. 3 Cause Of U.S Deaths, Researchers Say"


Over 75% of Americans are living from paycheck to paycheck.

25% of American children are on the SNAP program (food stamps)

Record high college loan debt (over $1.2 trillion)

Wages have been stagnant since Nixon took the country off the gold standard in 1971.

Homeless cities abound in San Francisco, L.A. Philly, Vegas, Boston, San Jose, DC, San Diego, Seattle, and NYC.

Auto loans have hit all time highs at over $1.2 trillion.

Many inner cities are less safe than third world countries.

Over 29% of white babies are born out of wedlock, and 72% of black babies.

The Government has spent trillions on false flag Middle East wars.

So, Polyana, things are really quite bleak, and, with plutocrats having successfully divided and conquered American, so that they hate each other, things are, indeed, bleak.

Now why don't you tell us all how great things are. You can start by telling us how much better off we are with our ponzi dollar and our over $20 trillion National Debt. Explain to us how going from the world's largest debtor, to the world's largest creditor, has made America a better place for working class Americans.

In reply to by not dead yet

ProstoDoZiemi Paul Kersey Sun, 08/20/2017 - 03:24 Permalink

I couldn't agree more...Most of my friends are struggling to get by. All of them are college educated, live in matchbox apartments with 3 or 4 other room-mates where savings are non existant and a joke among all of us.Work, yes they have jobs, mostly in the service industry as bartenders, servers, retail, uber lol, (( They will be so screwed when the economy breaks down )) etc. The job market is a catch 22, employers want experience, but yet no one is willing to provide/build the experience..... The very few that were able to break away into their respective fields, including msyelf, are being dumbed down in their positions and prevented from moving higher in the companies.I have 2 degrees, 1 being such a sought after STEM degree in which at my work I rarely use, I once created a linear equation.... clap clap.... differential equations class went to waste....

In reply to by Paul Kersey

ProstoDoZiemi Paul Kersey Sun, 08/20/2017 - 03:33 Permalink

Today, it just feels as if everyone wants a piece of your ass.From birth till death, you're paying someone, you can't be at peace from someone wanting your hard earned money.If this Faux Recovery is so great on all dizzying metrics, why aren't wages going up? would be nice to get a f*king raise after 2 years of hard work, it would also be nice to be able to buy a pair of new pants and a non xmas sweatshirt

In reply to by Paul Kersey

SolosGirl Paul Kersey Sun, 08/20/2017 - 13:17 Permalink

Paul, do you hear yourself?  This "i could fuck up, steal, lie, cheat, etc---and there was always someone to save my stupid, lying, cheating, thieving ass. It's the American Dream!" And now....WAAAAAHHHH!!!  I'm being held accountable for my actions!!!  How dare they!Yeah. I'll tell you from an ER RN point of view what your talking about. And entitled, butt hurt, bullshit, spoiled asshole who is lamenting that they can't tear through life with someone to bail them out of their bad decisions.Like you describe yourself as being.Now...facebook (as much as I loathe it) can be a great tool in rounding up those "selfie addicts" and the ones who think that getting hammered and high every weekend, fucking the unconscious girl and high fiving their buddies while video taping the whole thing---is holding them accountable Since the LAW won't do it (see sports and rape)....facebook and viral messaging WILL. I applaud this.  I HOPE AND PRAY that assholes like you don't get jobs or rent from my parents/me or are my neighbors. I APPLAUD the fact that the entitled assholes that feel like "lying their way into yet another job after being fired multiples times" CAN'T GET A FUCKING JOB AT 7-11!Am I shocked that now the entitled assholes who feel that they should be able to do this shit---AND go out and "put anything into their bodies that they feel like putting there"----are getting outed and confronted? NOPE.  I love it.  This bullshit that you spout about "Dr. Pushers"---and drugs?  Um.....and who is it that FORCED YOU to go to the doctor with your "vague abdominal pain" that just HAS to be solved?FFS. Grow some fucking balls, take some pepto bismol---put down the fucking alcohol and Taco Bell---go ride your bike, take a walk, eat healthy, get outside and have a fucking CONVERSATION with someone, stop lying and cheating and do the fucking WORK that is called LIFE.These assholes come to the ER with belly button lint. And a vague headache that they woke up with this morning (because of binge drinking maybe?)  It's not a tumor, dumbass. You're clogging up my ER with your bullshit. Wanna know what an EMERGENCY is?  You are spurting bright red blood from your head. Or can't put two sentences together because you are stroking.I've seen my 94 bed ED filled up with people who "have a plan" to throw themselves in front of a car. I have to believe them. But as soon as they get admitted...."WHERE ARE MY FRIES WITH THIS GOURMET BURGER???"  "I have belly pain. It's a 10/10. I need dilaudid, because I'm 'allergic' to morphine. Oh and I get nauseated so I need benadryl. And there's this itch too. So add some phenergan. And give it all IV push. FAST. I'll report you if you don't!! FUCKING BITCH!"So much for suicidal.So don't you fucking blame the medical profession when NOBODY forced you to go to the doctor for your jock itch, asshole.We've raised a nation of pussies who can't wipe their own asses, want to have everything with no consequences or accountability, and then complain bitterly when nobody wants to hear their shit anymore.  Now it's "the opioid epidemic"....Turning to drugs, alcohol, or ANY other addictive activity---is a symptom of the USER, not the PROVIDER. The provider would not exist if there was not a demand for the product. You all are "free marketeers"?  Then take away the demand, and you have no product to peddle. It's nobody's fault but the user's that there is a niche for this market of drugs.  Nobody FORCE FED an addict anything. Nobody gave someone heroin for free or for back pain or whatever---and then the only alternative for that person is to go find it on the street or make it themselves. This is an entitlement problem with this country and the only way to get out of it is to cut off the supply and let the users do what they will. The government won't allow a stoppage of the flow of heroin into this country, because it's a money maker.Not just in the way that you think. If you make drugs legal, there will still be the ODs. But you also are cutting the head off of the profit for Big Pharma, drug stores/pharmacists, doctors, clinics, rehab facilities, even down to medical supply warehouses...There is an entire support system that has grown up surrounding the "care and cultivation of drug and alcohol addiction".  Lots of people would be out of work and much poorer (LOOK AT YOUR OWN FUCKING PORTFOLIOS and be the hypocrites you are--you're all worried about those Pharma stocks tanking).So don't go pointing fingers at anybody else, when the market drives this problem and people's entitlement to "do what they want" without interference is right there along with it. Libertarians my ass.

In reply to by Paul Kersey

Giant Meteor Billy the Poet Sat, 08/19/2017 - 19:58 Permalink

See, that's a good point. Used to be there was this thing called entertainment. Honest to good fun. Belly laughs and such. Then, there were still other "shows" stories, often, much like a good parable, that had a point, perhaps even invoking a thought exercise, or some subject worthy of consideration. Principles, values, moral instruction, was not entirely out of the question.What I sense these days, is more social conditioning, far less entertainment but a social engineering construct. Copycat meme's to make the abnormal, acceptable. A devolution of society as mirror image, the self reporting on self, and of culture writ large .. a mirror image of the very dysfunction if you will, revealing of course, how very far society has sunk into a vacuum of nothingness,  self absorbtion, materialism, hedonism and the ensuing narcissistic attitudes that it invokes.A far cry from My Three Sons, and Bob Newhart, or even All in the Familiy for that matter .. 

In reply to by Billy the Poet

not dead yet Giant Meteor Sat, 08/19/2017 - 21:55 Permalink

For a long time now the media is all negativity. Critics stomp all over shows that don't have some sort of conflict. The more the better. You can't even watch a show with people hunting for a house or a team restoring a car because of the fake bickering and conflict. Years ago the great football player and great analyst Merlin Olson was fired from the booth, even though he was still extremely popular after all his years there, because he wasn't critical enough of the players. If some guy misses a putt on the final hole of a tournament, especially a major, the media and broadcasters always bring it up for years when the guy gets in the hunt.The way the bigot, racist, asshole Archie Bunker was portrayed made you laugh at him but you would never want to be like him. Today there are lots of bad role models on TV but the way they are portrayed makes plenty of people want to be like them.

In reply to by Giant Meteor

Arrow4Truth Giant Meteor Sat, 08/19/2017 - 19:43 Permalink

So, you listen to me. Listen to me! Television is not the truth. Television's a god-damned amusement park. Television is a circus, a carnival, a traveling troupe of acrobats, storytellers, dancers, singers, jugglers, sideshow freaks, lion tamers, and football players. We're in the boredom-killing business. So if you want the Truth, go to God! Go to your gurus. Go to yourselves! Because that's the only place you're ever gonna find any real truth. But, man, you're never gonna get any truth from us. We'll tell you anything you wanna hear. We lie like hell. We'll tell you that, uh, Kojak always gets the killer and that nobody ever gets cancer at Archie Bunker's house. And no matter how much trouble the hero is in, don't worry. Just look at your watch. At the end of the hour, he's gonna win. We'll tell you any shit you want to hear.We deal in illusions, man. None of it is true! But you people sit there day after day, night after night, all ages, colors, creeds. We're all you know. You're beginning to believe the illusions we're spinning here. You're beginning to think that the tube is reality and that your own lives are unreal. You do whatever the tube tells you. You dress like the tube, you eat like the tube, you raise your children like the tube. You even think like the tube. This is mass madness. You maniacs. In God's name, you people are the real thing. We are the illusion. So turn off your television sets. Turn them off now. Turn them off right now. Turn them off and leave them off. Turn them off right in the middle of this sentence I am speaking to you now. Turn them off!Rant by Howard Beale - Network - movie 1976

In reply to by Giant Meteor

logicalman The Cooler King (not verified) Sat, 08/19/2017 - 19:27 Permalink

I don't think anyone would call me a snowflake, but if I put myself in the position of the most recent adults looking at where things are headed, suicide might not seem to be that bad an option. Better to choose your own 'out' than have someone else make the decision for you.I grew up in the 60s, and maybe I'm looking back with rose coloured spectacles but I'm glad I'm not hitting adulthood in 2017.I'm too old to really give a fuck for myself, regarding this, but I have 2 kids in their 20s whose eyes are open, so I hope to stay around long enough to be of assistance to them.

In reply to by The Cooler King (not verified)

Delving Eye logicalman Sat, 08/19/2017 - 20:02 Permalink

I'm in the exact same boat (born 1953), and I'm only sticking around to give my 2 20-something kids a leg up in this insane world. They're both smart, hard-working grads who were never coddled, but the landscape for them is far bleaker than it ever was for me and my husband when we started out during the recession of 1975.

In reply to by logicalman

not dead yet Delving Eye Sat, 08/19/2017 - 22:26 Permalink

I'm older than you and although I also think the future may be bleaker I'm reserving my judgement until it gets here. We have been bombarded by all kinds of gloom and doom from the fake "we're going to leave the national debt for our kids to pay", it will never get paid back and no effort will be made to do so, to all the "unfunded liability" fake news we keep getting bombared with by those with an agenda. Those pushing that agenda come up with their gloom numbers by adding up future payouts but never ever subtract the monies that will be collected during that period. For example Social Security is broke they say but they have enough money for full benefits until 2030 or so and cash to pay for reduced benefits for a lot longer. In the meantime they can raise more funds by reworking the plan or raise the cap.What the gloomers fail to realize is most of the boomers have accumulated cash and assets over the years contrary to the bunk handed out by shills. When I started out I didn't have jack and there was nothing forthcoming from my greatest generation family that spent all their money on booze. I worked lots of hours for my small nestegg which I am now doling out to my upstanding hardworking kids who don't blow their money on drugs or booze. Kids who have had jobs since they were old enough to have a paper route. The one who went to college worked weekends during the semester and usually 3 part time jobs in the summer even though I paid for his tuition and room and board. I live within my means so why make them wait till I'm dead to collect when they can use the cash to make their house payments, they all have houses, and raise their kids and pay medical bills. Last thing they are doing is blowing it on crap. Instead of burdening your kids about a negative future assure them you're all in this together and will work and help each other if the SHTF. Until then enjoy what you have.

In reply to by Delving Eye

CheapBastard JRobby Sat, 08/19/2017 - 18:42 Permalink

add political "leaders" and th elist is complete!they see Hussein, Piglosi, Crooked Cankles, McShame, Bawrney Franks, Lindsey Graham, ...and so on.Parents and the media have kids so confused they don't know what sex they are anymore. China or Russia can take over USA without firing a shot. Mexico has 20% control already. Somalis another 10%.

In reply to by JRobby

GatorMcClusky GUS100CORRINA Sat, 08/19/2017 - 18:51 Permalink

Sorry that is wrong. He was right there at the helm leading the charge to keep Kids as far as possible from God. Without God there is no hope; I guess the corollary to that is Hope and Change turned out to be hopeless for a lot of kids.
Jeremiah warned not only Judah but all nations will suffer when they desert Him.
The false prophet and the antichrist aren't far away.

In reply to by GUS100CORRINA

oDumbo Looney Sat, 08/19/2017 - 18:23 Permalink

You can't watch tv anymore without everybody in the cast going for coldies in the fridge or pouring Scott or wine. The alcohol industry owns network tv now and it's disgusting to know that little kids are growing up thinking that adults only talk to each other while drinking. Case in point, watch the first season of Modern Family compared to the last season. You'll see the Booz dollars hard at work these days. Drugs? Next.

In reply to by Looney

SixIsNinE oDumbo Sun, 08/20/2017 - 01:38 Permalink

next - whoever owns the actress Jennifer Lawrence has got her to offer a DRUNK session to the winner who outs a"white supremacist"that's right.   any libtard cuck who's got a grievance on a white man can make up a story and call the Get Drunk w/ Jennifer Lawrence line and see if he's the lucky guy (or girl - or "undecided") .... Trump has had more opportunities to shame the vile attacks thrown at him and all of the US -  i don't want tweets.   Lay it ALL out what the fakestream is doing.   now he misspelled "heal" as "heel" on a tweet, twice and had to retweet his tweet with the correct spelling. I don't know folks.  This is getting stupid. The other big story is how his daughter Ivanka the Jew Convert (exact words, not mine) urged Trump to fire Bannon and is praised for it.       And get this, a rabbi in Spain is saying all Joos should move to Israel because they can't get along with the muslims that will be coming  (invading) europe.   

In reply to by oDumbo