Abstract: The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of Maryland recorded a total of 149 drug abuse deaths of teenagers aged 13–19 years between 1991 and 2006. Of these deaths, 96 (64.4%) were caused by the use of narcotic drugs only, 29 (19.5%) by both narcotics and cocaine, four (2.7%) by both narcotics and methylenedioxymethamphetamine, six (4.0%) by cocaine only, and 14 (9.4%) by volatile substances (e.g., butane, Freon, nitrous oxide, and propane). The annual death rate from drug abuse for teenagers increased from 1.4 deaths per 100,000 population in 1991 to 2.7 deaths per 100,000 population in 2006 (chi-square test for time trend, p < 0.01). The increase in teenager drug abuse deaths occurred in 1999 and since has remained at a higher rate. Further analysis revealed that the increase in drug abuse deaths was attributable to a large degree to narcotic drugs, particularly heroin/morphine and methadone, and was confined to teenagers residing in the suburban and rural areas.
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