Drug toll: Teenage girls overdosing on paracetamol

A generation of teenage girls riddled with fear and anxiety is overdosing in record numbers.

Authorities believe paracetamol poisoning, rather than illicit party drugs, is the leading cause of overdoses of girls aged 15-19 and has spiked in ­recent years.

Exclusive figures gathered from the 2014 Health of Children and Young People in NSW report show 1407 girls attended emergency departments in 2013 for illicit drug use, overdose or poisoning — a huge jump from 951 in 2011.

NSW Health head psychiatrist Dr Murray Wright said while every young person’s death or serious injury from illicit drug abuse was a catastrophe, the primary problem was in the home rather than on the street. “The numbers are more about the prescription and non-prescription drugs than they are about the illicit drugs,” he said.

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