December 1995

Comparison of Cocaine and Opiate Exposures Between Young Urban and Suburban Children

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Pediatrics (Drs Rosenberg, Meert, and Kauffman) and Pediatric Nursing (Ms Marino), Children's Hospital of Michigan, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit (Mich) Medical Center.

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1995;149(12):1362-1364. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1995.02170250068012

Objective:  To determine the prevalence of cocaine and opiate metabolites in the urine of young urban and suburban children.

Design:  Survey.

Setting:  Urban and suburban emergency departments and private pediatric practices.

Patients:  A convenience sample of 1469 children between 1 and 60 months of age who required a urinalysis for investigation of the chief complaint.

Interventions:  None.

Main Outcome Measures:  Urine was screened for benzoylecgonine and opiates using an enzyme-multiplied immunoassay technique and a fluorescence-polarization immunoassay, both with a sensitivity of 50 ng/mL.

Results:  Benzoylecogonine was identified in the urine of 45 children (3.1%) (95% CI, 2.2% to 3.9%) and opiates in the urine of 38 children (2.6%) (95% CI, 1.8% to 3.4%). No difference was observed between urban and suburban health care facilities in the percentage of patients whose urine tested positive for benzoylecgonine (29 of 1011 vs 16 of 458, P=.6) or opiates (28 of 1011 vs 10 of 458, P=.6)

Conclusion:  Exposure to illicit drugs, as reflected by urinary metabolites, is similar for urban and suburban children.(Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1995;149:1362-1364)