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Teens coping with aggression and agitation are the majority of repeat emergency room visitors

Ambulances parked outside an emergency room. (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Ambulances parked outside an emergency room. (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Emergency room doctors have been seeing a disturbing trend in recent years: adolescents making repeat visits to the emergency room for behaviors ranging from agitation to aggression, generally caused by untreated and under-treated mental illness.

Now, anew study in JAMA Pediatrics confirms the observation, showing that teens suffering from these often-dangerous behaviors make up the largest group of repeat ER visitors, surpassing those with depression and suicidal tendencies.

Dr. Anna Cusing is a pediatric emergency doctor at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. She’s also the lead author of the JAMA study and joins Here & Now‘s Robin Young to discuss the issue and ways to help these families moving forward.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.