Parental opiod use = child suicides? + Justice system harms teen brains + Eczema bias

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Parental use of prescription opioids associated with risk of suicide attempt by children (release): Opioid use by parents was associated with increased risk of suicide attempt by their children in a study that linked medical claims for opioid prescriptions for parents with medical claims for suicide attempts by their children. This observational study included 184,000 children whose parents used opioids and about 148,000 children whose parents didn't.

Parental opioid use was defined having filled prescriptions covering more than a year of an opioid between 2010 and 2016. Of the children whose parents didn't use opioids, 212 (0.14 percent) attempted suicide, while 678 (0.37 percent) of the children whose parents used opioids attempted suicide. The increased risk of suicide attempt among children whose parents used opioids remained even after accounting for child age and sex, parent and child depression and substance use diagnoses, and parental history of suicide attempt. Limitations of the study include a conservative definition of parental opioid use and all the claims were for families with private health insurance. (ORIGINAL PAPER - access may be unreliable)



A cognitive neuroscientist warns that the U.S. justice system harms teen brains (excerpt): A teenager’s brain does not magically mature into its reasoned, adult form the night before his or her 18th birthday. Instead, aspects of brain development stretch into a person’s 20s — a protracted fine-tuning with serious implications for young people caught in the U.S. justice system, argues cognitive neuroscientist B.J. Casey of Yale University. In the May 22 Neuron, Casey describes the heartbreaking case of Kalief Browder, sent at age 16 to Rikers Island correctional facility in New York City [...] Casey uses the case to highlight how the criminal justice system — and the accompanying violence, stress and isolation (SN: 12/8/18, p. 11) that come with being incarcerated — can interfere with brain development in adolescents and children. [...] Young people should be held accountable for their actions, “but a diminished accountability,” Casey suggests. (MORE - details)



Hispanic and black children more likely to miss school due to eczema than white children (excerpt): In a study that highlights racial disparities in the everyday impact of eczema, new research shows Hispanic and black children are more likely than white children to miss school due to the chronic skin disease. Researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania examined more than a decade's-worth of data among children enrolled in a national eczema registry and found Hispanic children were most likely to have missed at least six days of school over six-month period due to their condition. Black children also saw higher probabilities of missed school days compared to white children. JAMA Dermatology published the findings today. [...] "The effects of eczema are more than skin-deep, and studies have shown that the mental health and social impact of this condition can be significant—sometimes just as much or more than the physical—and may lead to a higher number of school days missed," said the study's lead author Joy Wan, MD, MSCE, a post-doctoral fellow and Instructor of Dermatology. (MORE - details)
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