Child Deaths from Neglect and Abuse


Arizona child Fatality Review Team

Twenty-Seventh Annual Report

November 15, 2020

In 88% of the 119 substance use related deaths (n=105), the decedent child was using or abusing alcohol or drugs which caused or contributed to their death (Figure 49). Marijuana and opiates were the most common substances which caused or contributed to the death of the child were the child was the user. In 76% of the 119 substance use related deaths (n=91), another individual (child or adult) was using or abusing alcohol or drugs which caused or contributed to the death of the child.

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Texas Department of Family and Protective Services

Fiscal Year 2018
Child Maltreatment Fatalities
and Near Fatalities Annual Report
March 1, 2019

Substance Abuse by Caregiver as Risk Factor

During the review of confirmed child fatalities, cases were reviewed for a documented history of substance abuse (including inappropriate use of prescribed medications) and for active concern for substances abuse at the time of the child fatality.

For FY2018, 138 of 211 child fatalities caused by abuse or neglect involved a parent or caregiver actively using a substance and/or under the influence of at least one substance abuse is described by type of if it was reported. Marijuana was the substance most identified as actively being used by the perpetrator (85 cases) in child abuse and neglect-related fatalities. In 21 child fatalities, methamphetamines and amphetamines were being actively used by the caregiver.


Child Abuse Death Review Committee – Working to eliminate preventable child abuse and neglect deaths in Floria – Annual Report December 2020

Substance Abuse History of Caregivers and Supervisors

For those with a substance abuse history, most of all caregivers of children whose deaths were verified as maltreatment has a history of marijuana use (form a low of 52% for other causes to high of 100% for sleep-related deaths.) Similarly, high percentages of caregivers use of marijuana are observed for all primary causes of death for not substantiated and no indicators of maltreatment deaths; from a low of 0.0% for not substantiated inflicted trauma deaths to a high of 83.3% for not substantiated drowning deaths.

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