The malicious use of pharmaceuticals is a largely unreported form of child abuse. According to an article, www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100722075007 caregivers have been abusing children with alcohol, painkillers, cough and cold medicines, sedatives and sleeping pills, and antipsychotic medicines. The problem with recognizing this as a form of child abuse is the expense involved in the investigation (requiring medical testing). Other problems are related to the lack of training among social workers in the recognition of such abuse.
This article is not surprising. I have seen caregivers put alcoholic beverages in baby bottles. Many give children large amounts of caffeinated beverages. It has been my experience that Child Protection Agencies are unresponsive to complaints about these types of abuse.
There needs to be a public awareness campaign to stop the inappropriate use of substances to create "convenient" children, and future addicts.