Malicious use of drugs latest form of child abuse

July 23rd, 2010 - 4:24 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, July 23 (IANS) The abusive use of drugs on children should be seen as the latest form of child abuse, says a researcher.
Shan Yin from the University of Colorado and the Rocky Mountain Poison Drug Centre at Denver Health conducted a study attempting to shed light on this under-recognised problem.

He reviewed cases of pharmaceutical abuse reported to the National Poison Data System between 2000 and 2008.

Yin included reports of the malicious use of alcohol, painkillers, cough and cold medicines, sedatives and sleeping pills, and antipsychotic medicines, according to a University of Colorado statement.

Of the over 1,400 cases studied, nearly 14 percent resulted in moderate to major consequences, including death.

Nearly half of the abused children were exposed to at least one sedative. An average of 160 cases, including two deaths, were reported each year.

Motives for the abusive use of drugs generally are varied, and can include punishment, amusement, or a wish for a break from childcare responsibilities.

The study, scheduled for publication in the Journal of Paediatrics, illustrates the seriousness of the abusive use of drugs administered to children.

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