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Home > Paracetamol-related intentional drug overdose among young people: a national registry study of characteristics, incidence and trends, 2007-2018.

Daly, Caroline and Griffin, Eve and McMahon, Elaine and Corcoran, Paul and Webb, Roger T and Ashcroft, Darren M and Arensman, Ella (2020) Paracetamol-related intentional drug overdose among young people: a national registry study of characteristics, incidence and trends, 2007-2018. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology . https://doi.org/10.1007/s00127-020-01981-y.

URL: https://link.springer.com/epdf/10.1007/s00127-020-...

PURPOSE: Incidence rates of hospital-presenting self-harm are highest in people under 25 years and are reportedly increasing in some countries. Intentional drug overdose (IDO) is the most common self-harm method among young people, with paracetamol the drug most frequently used. This study aimed to describe the characteristics, incidence, and temporal trends in paracetamol-related IDO among young people.

METHODS: Data from the National Self-Harm Registry Ireland on hospital-presenting self-harm by individuals aged 1024 years during 2007-2018 were examined. Annual IDO rates per 100,000 were calculated by age and gender. Joinpoint regression analyses and incidence rate ratios were used to examine trends in the incidence of paracetamol-related IDO.

RESULTS: During the study, 10,985 paracetamol-related IDOs were recorded. The incidence of paracetamol-related IDO among young people increased by 9% between 2007 and 2018 (IRR 1.09 95% CI 1.00-1.19), with the highest annual percentage change (APC) in females aged 18-24 years (APC 1.2%). Conversely, rates of paracetamol-related IDO among males aged 18-24 years decreased significantly (APC 1.6%). Between 2013 and 2018, excesses of 386 and 151 paracetamol-related IDOs were observed in females aged 10-17 and 18-24 years, respectively, and 42 excess presentations were observed for males aged 10-17 years. There were 107 fewer presentations than expected for males aged 18-24 years.

CONCLUSION: The increase in paracetamol-related IDO among specific groups of young people, particularly young females is an issue of growing concern. Interventions targeting IDO among young people are needed, incorporating measures to address the availability of paracetamol and aftercare following IDO.


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