Illicit Drug Use in Pregnancy
By Elsie Dunn,2014-12-30 03:40
Drug misuse in pregnancy is a complex public-health problem with potentially serious adverse effects for the mother, fetus and extending to the developing child. Early detection by screening of all pregnant women and those planning pregnancies should be a priority. This article focuses on the effects and management of illicit drug use in pregnancy. The assessment of the pregnant drug user needs to sensitively explore drug use, psychiatric and physical comorbidity, social and family circumstances of the individual. The impact on any dependent children is a crucial part of the assessment. The use of assessment tools can inform future planning. Management requires a coordinated, multidisciplinary approach to ensure seamless transition and individualized care. Pharmacological treatments are available for opioid dependence, while benzodiazepine dependency would require withdrawal. Psychosocial interventions are an integral part of management. There is a need to understand the context in which drug use occurs and to develop cost-effective treatments.