(NBC NEWS) – An alarming new study finds a growing number of children are addicted to opioid painkillers.
Researchers at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital say that nationwide 135 young people test positive for an opioid addiction every day.
"We fear that this might just be the tip of the iceberg," says Dr. Veerajalandhar Allareddy,
That's because those opioid addictions are only found when kids and teens are taken to the emergency room for other issues and doctors screen them for drugs.
Dr. Purva Grover, the head of Cleveland Clinic's Pediatric Emergency Departments, is not surprised by the new research.
"I think it actually gives validity to what we have been seeing and what we have been thinking and feeling which is now put in numbers," she said.
Her doctors have noticed a growing number of kids in their early teens with opioid problems.
The majority of young patients in the University of Iowa study were college age, but some were as young as 8 years old.
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