Screen Readers Skip to Content

Malicious use of Drugs is An Under-Recognized Form of Child Abuse

Published: 2010-07-22
Author: Elsevier Health Sciences
Peer-Reviewed Publication: N/A

Synopsis: Department of Health and Human Services classify child abuse as neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, and emotional abuse. The malicious use of pharmaceuticals: An under-recognized form of child abuse.

advertisements

Main Digest

The malicious use of pharmaceuticals: An under-recognized form of child abuse.

This article is from our digest of publications relating to Pharmaceutical Information that also includes:

Child abuse is a serious problem that affects nearly one million children a year in the United States alone. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the US Department of Health and Human Services classify child abuse into four categories including neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, and emotional abuse. None of these categories, however, clearly includes the abusive use of drugs on children. A study soon to be published in the Journal of Pediatrics investigates the malicious use of pharmaceuticals and attempts to shed light on this under-recognized problem.

Dr. Shan Yin from the University of Colorado and the Rocky Mountain Poison Drug Center at Denver Health reviewed cases of pharmaceutical abuse reported to the National Poison Data System between 2000 and 2008. Dr. Yin included reports of the malicious use of alcohol, painkillers, cough and cold medicines, sedatives and sleeping pills, and antipsychotic medicines.

Of the more than 1400 cases studied, nearly 14% resulted in moderate to major consequences, including death. Nearly one-half of the abused children were exposed to at least one sedative. An average of 160 cases, including two deaths, was reported each year. Motives and legal findings were unavailable for these particular cases; however, motives for the abusive use of drugs generally are varied, and can include punishment, amusement, or a wish for a break from childcare responsibilities.

This study illustrates the seriousness of the abusive use of drugs administered to children. According to Dr. Yin, "The malicious administration of pharmaceuticals should be considered an important form of child abuse." He encourages pediatricians and emergency medical personnel to be on the watch for this form of maltreatment, and suggests the use of comprehensive drug screening during the evaluation of a child suspected to be the victim of abuse. Dr. Yin also cautions parents that the "non-therapeutic administration of pharmaceuticals to children can result in serious outcomes, including death."

The study, reported in "Malicious Use of Pharmaceuticals in Children" by Shan Yin, MD, MPH, appears in the Journal of Pediatrics, DOI 10.1016/jpeds.2010.05.040, published by Elsevier.

Post to Twitter Add to Facebook

Disabled World is an independent disability community established in 2004 to provide disability news and information to people with disabilities, seniors, their family and/or carers. See our homepage for informative news, reviews, sports, stories and how-tos. You can also connect with us on Twitter and Facebook or learn more about Disabled World on our about us page.

advertisements

Disabled World provides general information only. The materials presented are never meant to substitute for professional medical care by a qualified practitioner, nor should they be construed as such. Financial support is derived from advertisements or referral programs, where indicated. Any 3rd party offering or advertising does not constitute an endorsement.


Cite This Page (APA): Elsevier Health Sciences. (2010, July 22). Malicious use of Drugs is An Under-Recognized Form of Child Abuse. Disabled World. Retrieved August 19, 2022 from www.disabled-world.com/medical/pharmaceutical/drugs-child-abuse.php

Permalink: <a href="https://www.disabled-world.com/medical/pharmaceutical/drugs-child-abuse.php">Malicious use of Drugs is An Under-Recognized Form of Child Abuse</a>