Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A hidden epidemic: Street children show high levels of drug use

12.07.2013
Inhalants are the most popular drug in middle and low income countries

Drug use is common among street children, posing serious threats to both their health and their chances for reintegration into society. It's difficult to reduce drug use among street children without a good understanding of the problem, and up to now the research has been confined mainly to local studies with inconsistent results.

Today, Addiction has published a systematic review of 50 studies of drug use among street children in 22 countries, shedding new light on the magnitude of the problem, the causes and health consequences of drug use among street children, and areas where new research is badly needed.

According to this review by researchers from Moi University (Kenya), Indiana University (USA), Regenstrief Institute (USA) and University of Toronto (Canada), the most commonly used drug among street children in low- and middle-income countries is inhalants, things like glue, acetone, gasoline, and paint thinner. Street children likely gravitate toward inhalants because they're cheap and legal, and therefore easy to get. (In contrast, street children in high-income countries tend to favour injection drugs, such as heroin.)

Use of volatile solvents such as glue and gasoline is a major obstacle to street children being re-integrated into society and having a healthy and productive life once they are off the streets. Inhalants have been linked to cognitive and neurological impairment and psychological and physical dependence. They are also linked to sudden death from cardiac arrhythmia and other causes.

The prevalence of drug use among street children varies widely among countries, from 14% in Nigeria to 92% in Honduras and Brazil. These estimates are several times higher than the World Health Organization's estimates of drug use among non-street youth globally. The most common reasons street children give for using drugs are peer pressure, escapism, pleasure, curiosity, and increasing courage and strength for life on the streets.

Dr. Paula Braitstein, the senior author of this study, says that one of the most valuable outcomes of this review is an understanding of what new research needs to be done. "As a result of this review, we learned that we don't really know what causes street children to start and stop using drugs. We also found that many studies of street children focus on boys, so we have even less information about girls' drug use. Finally, although we know that some street children exchange sex for drugs or have sex while under the influence of drugs, little else is known about the link between drug use and risky sex behavior. There are several critical gaps in our knowledge that we need to fill."

For editors: Embleton L, Mwangi A, Vreeman R, Ayuku D, and Braitstein P. The epidemiology of substance use amongst street children in resource-constrained settings: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Addiction, 108: doi:10.1111/add.12252

Jean O'Reilly | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.wiley.com

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Do microplastics harbour additional risks by colonization with harmful bacteria?
05.04.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde

nachricht Rutgers-led innovation could spur faster, cheaper, nano-based manufacturing
14.02.2018 | Rutgers University

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

Im Focus: Basel researchers succeed in cultivating cartilage from stem cells

Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.

Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...

Im Focus: Like a wedge in a hinge

Researchers lay groundwork to tailor drugs for new targets in cancer therapy

In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...

Im Focus: The Future of Ultrafast Solid-State Physics

In an article that appears in the journal “Review of Modern Physics”, researchers at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (LAP) assess the current state of the field of ultrafast physics and consider its implications for future technologies.

Physicists can now control light in both time and space with hitherto unimagined precision. This is particularly true for the ability to generate ultrashort...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Diamond-like carbon is formed differently to what was believed -- machine learning enables development of new model

19.04.2018 | Materials Sciences

Electromagnetic wizardry: Wireless power transfer enhanced by backward signal

19.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Ultrafast electron oscillation and dephasing monitored by attosecond light source

19.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>