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Global Health
September 18, 2013

Street Children and Drug Abuse

JAMA. 2013;310(11):1113. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.278239

Children who live on the street in low- and middle-income countries have high rates of substance abuse, according to a meta-analysis carried out by researchers from the United States, Kenya, and Canada (Embleton L et al. Addiction. doi:10.1111/add.12252 [published online July 12, 2013]).

The investigators analyzed 50 studies of drug use in street children that focused on 22 countries. They defined the term street children, or street-involved children and youth, as children aged 0 to 18 years or youths aged 15 to 24 years who spend some or most of their lives on the streets.