Teen suicides dip, experts worry rate remains high

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The number of teen suicides has fallen slightly, but the rate remains disturbingly high, possibly fueled by drug warnings that have scared many from using antidepressants.

The suicide rate was about 4.5 per 100,000 in 2005, the most recent data available. That follows an 18% spike the previous year that alarmed experts when first reported.

That's because until then, suicides among 10- to 19-year-olds had been on a steady decline since 1996.

Dr. David Fassler, a psychiatry professor at the University of Vermont, said the report suggests a "very disturbing" upward trend that correlates with a decline in teen use of antidepressants.

That decline stems from the Food and Drug Administration's 2004 black-box warning label because of reports that the drugs can increase risks for suicidal tendencies.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchTeens / Youth

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