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Addiction. 2013 Oct;108(10):1722-33. doi: 10.1111/add.12252. Epub 2013 Jul 12.

The epidemiology of substance use among street children in resource-constrained settings: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Author information

1
College of Health Sciences, Department of Medicine, Moi University, Eldoret, Kenya.

Abstract

AIMS:

To compile and analyze critically the literature published on street children and substance use in resource-constrained settings.

METHODS:

We searched the literature systematically and used meta-analytical procedures to synthesize literature that met the review's inclusion criteria. Pooled-prevalence estimates and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated using the random-effects model for life-time substance use by geographical region as well as by type of substance used.

RESULTS:

Fifty studies from 22 countries were included into the review. Meta-analysis of combined life-time substance use from 27 studies yielded an overall drug use pooled-prevalence estimate of 60% (95% CI = 51-69%). Studies from 14 countries contributed to an overall pooled prevalence for street children's reported inhalant use of 47% (95% CI = 36-58%). This review reveals significant gaps in the literature, including a dearth of data on physical and mental health outcomes, HIV and mortality in association with street children's substance use.

CONCLUSIONS:

Street children from resource-constrained settings reported high life-time substance use. Inhalants are the predominant substances used, followed by tobacco, alcohol and marijuana.

KEYWORDS:

Homeless youth; resource-constrained settings; street children; substance use; systematic review; volatile solvent use

Comment in

PMID:
23844822
PMCID:
PMC3776018
DOI:
10.1111/add.12252
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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