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

Norman M. Rosenberg, DO; Deborah Marino, RN; Kathleen L. Meert, MD; Ralph F. Kauffman, MD
Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1995;149(12):1362-1364. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1995.02170250068012.
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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)


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