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Pediatr Clin North Am. 2009 Apr;56(2):345-62. doi: 10.1016/j.pcl.2009.01.006.

Substance abuse and child maltreatment.

Author information

1
Community Health Services, Denver Health, Denver, CO, USA. Kathryn.wells@dhha.org

Abstract

Pediatricians and other medical providers caring for children need to be aware of the dynamics in the significant relationship between substance abuse and child maltreatment. A caregiver's use and abuse of alcohol, marijuana, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and other drugs place the child at risk in multiple ways. Members of the medical community need to understand these risks because the medical community plays a unique and important role in identifying and caring for these children. Substance abuse includes the abuse of legal drugs as well as the use of illegal drugs. The abuse of legal substances may be just as detrimental to parental functioning as abuse of illicit substances. Many substance abusers are also polysubstance users and the compounded effect of the abuse of multiple substances may be difficult to measure. Often other interrelated social features, such as untreated mental illness, trauma history, and domestic violence, affect these families.

PMID:
19358920
DOI:
10.1016/j.pcl.2009.01.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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