Evaluating Adolescent Substance Use and Suicide in the Pediatric Emergency Department

Contributed to by PISC Internal Advisory Board member Joel Fein, MD, MPH, this study evaluated the relationship between substance use and current suicidal thoughts or behaviors in adolescent patients screened in a pediatric emergency department (ED). After collecting assessment data from adolescent patients who presented to a single, urban, pediatric ED between June 2013 and February 2018, the authors found that male sex and recent substance use were associated with a higher chance of current suicidal thoughts or behaviors during an ED visit. These results imply that standardized screening during pediatric ED visits may allow for more efficient evaluation of patients in higher-risk groups.

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