Teen girls are now poisoning themselves at alarming rates. There are ways to help. In teen suicide data, deaths are rare but just the tip of the iceberg.

There’s no easy way to say this: In the past decade, there has been a dramatic rise in the number of teens attempting to kill themselves with poison. 

The data appeared Wednesday in The Journal of Pediatrics, and comes from poison control centers. Overall, the study finds the rate of poisoning attempts more than doubled among boys and girls. 

Girls, however, account for most of the rise. The study finds poisoning attempts by girls ages 10 to 12 increased 268 percent from 2010 to 2017, for instance. For girls ages 13 to 15, the poisoning rate increased 143 percent. 

Overall, it’s estimated that in 2018, close to 60,000 girls ages 10 to 18 tried to poison themselves. In 2008, that figure was closer to 30,000. 

The current study doesn’t describe the poisons used (that analysis is forthcoming), but anything from too many gummy vitamins to a high dose of opioids can be considered a poison if the intent was self-harm. And unfortunately, the researchers believe their findings are an underestimate, as there are sure to be poisonings that don’t make it into the database, as well as poisonings misclassified as accidental.

Source: Brian Resnick brian@vox.com

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