alexa Exposure to Drugs of Abuse

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Exposure to Drugs of Abuse

The postnatal use of cocaine by mother or other adults in the infant`s environment exposes infants and young children to crack/cocaine smoke during critical periods of brain development and physical growth. Exposure to crack smoke may increase the risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Among children who have been apparently passively exposed to cocaine, there is a significant increase in the incidence of upper and lower respiratory symptoms (may be related to airway mucosa irritation and paralysis of the mucosal cilia) from exposure to cocaine smoke. In childhood and adolescence, use of recreational drugs such as cocaine and tobacco poses cardiovascular risks. Cardiovascular complications related to cocaine abuse include myocardial ischemia and infarction, myocarditis, cardiomyopathy and sudden death. Prenatal methamphetamine exposure alone and in combination with postnatal drug exposures, was associated with behavioral and executive function deficits at 6.5 years. In order to prevent the exposure and consumption of drugs of abuse in children, interventions of public health and social services should raise consumer awareness of the risks occurring to children, and should push for avoiding consumption in places where adults interact with children. Uniform guidelines should be provided for health and social service professionals to be followed when confronted with documented drugs of abuse exposure in asymptomatic children.


Manzano C, Torres F, Roman L, Hernández M, Villalbí A, et al. (2014) Unsuspected Exposure to Drugs of Abuse in Children. Emergency Med 4:210.doi: 10.4172/2165-7548.1000210

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