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New Form of Child Abuse: Drugging Kids

New Form of Child Abuse – Drugging Kids Sadly, child abuse affects nearly one million children a year in the United States alone.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, child abuse can be classified 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 1,400 cases studied, nearly 14 percent 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 child care 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.”

Source: Elsevier

New Form of Child Abuse: Drugging Kids

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). New Form of Child Abuse: Drugging Kids. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 16, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2010/07/23/new-form-of-child-abuse-drugging-kids/15949.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.