Hidden Epidemic: High Levels of Drug Use Among Street Children (En)
|A research paper
difficulties of drug
reduction takes an
in-depth look at
50 studies of drug
use among street
children in 22
(Photo : Reuters)
Recent statistics show that drug use is very common among street children, which could pose a potentially dangerous threat to their overall health and possibility at achieving a higher education.
A research paper documenting the difficulties of drug reduction takes an in-depth look at 50 studies of drug use among street children in 22 countries. Researchers hope this might provide new information on the magnitude of the problem that causes health consequences for children, along with generational hardships.
The review from Moi University (Kenya), Indiana University (USA), Regenstrief Institute (USA) and University of Toronto (Canada), shows that the most commonly used drug among street children in low- and middle-income countries is inhalants, such as glue, acetone, gasoline and paint thinner. Street children may gravitate towards these products as they tend to be cheaper and cause less trouble with authority.
Yet, these simple solvents used for many everyday uses can create huge problems that prevent re-integration of street children into society, according to the study.
In fact, take a look at the statistics noted via a press release:
“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”
Senior study author of the assignment, Dr. Paula Braitstein, said that one of the most valuable outcomes of this review, however, is an understanding of what new research needs to be done and can help in the future.
“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.”