+44 20 3868 9735
Ahmed R. Ragab, Maha K. Al-Mazroua and Naglaa F. Mahmoud
Introduction: Cannabis and amphetamines are the most commonly used illegal drugs in adults in Saudi Arabia. Accidental Substance Abuse poisoning is an uncommon form of poisoning in children, but potentially serious.
Objective: To describe the clinical presentation, diagnosis and treatment of children with accidental poisoning from various forms of substances of abuse in a pediatric secondary hospital. Material and Methods: We report on14 patients with accidental intoxication by amphetamines, cannabis and opiates. Results: The clinical presentation was variable deterioration in level of consciousness, somnolence, ataxia, tremor, apnea, hypotonia and seizure. The investigation of toxic urine detected benzphetamine, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and morphine in all cases of amphetamine, cannabis and heroine intoxication respectively. In all patients with amphetamine and cannabis intoxication supportive measures were established. In only one case of acute heroine intoxication was naloxone therapy given. All cases recovered well and were discharged within 24-48 hours of admission.
Conclusion: A high index with early priority of suspicion should be maintained for substances of abuse involving “amphetamines, cannabis or morphine” intoxication in previously healthy children with acute onset of neurological symptoms of unknown etiology. Accidental poisoning by various substances of abuse is, in itself, an alarm signal on the attitude of parents in caring for their children. These families deserve special monitoring by social services, since such accidents may be covering up child abuse.