Suicide rates are on the rise in the U.S. across age groups and demographics. But in recent years, increases have been particularly pronounced among teenagers — especially girls, who die by suicide less frequently than boys but attempt it more often.
Intentional self-poisoning is the leading type of suicide attempt for adolescents (and the third-leading cause of suicide deaths), and a new study confirms that numbers here, too, are rising. The research, published in the Journal of Pediatrics, found that suicide attempts by poisoning have doubled in frequency among kids younger than 19, rising from almost 40,000 attempts in 2000 to almost 80,000 in 2018. Teen girls seemed to drive the increase in self-poisoning attempts, which can include intentional drug overdoses or exposure to other toxic substances.