While intentional drug overdoses have declined overall in the United States, they have increased among young people, the elderly and Black women, according to study by the National Institute on Drug Abuse published in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

“The distinction between accidental and intentional overdose has important clinical implications, as we must implement strategies for preventing both,” said NIDA Director Nora Volkow, M.D., senior author on the study. “To do so requires that we screen for suicidality among individuals who use opioids or other drugs, and that we provide treatment and support for those who need it, both for mental illnesses and for substance use disorders.”

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