The Management Of Substance Dependent Pregnant Women — A Clinical Audit

M Kashmiri, K Dar, M Gul, A Sabir

Use of any type of drugs can lead to a range of medical, psychiatric and social problems and the situation becomes further complicated if the user is pregnant. Prescribed and non-prescribed substances can affect pregnancy and substances are seldom used in isolation. About 1/3 of drug users in treatment in the U.K are female, and over 90% of these women are of childbearing age (15-39). The National Pregnancy and Health Survey conducted in the USA, found over 5% of those who gave birth during the study period had used illicit drugs while they were pregnant, with 2.9% using cannabis and 1.1% using cocaine at some point in their pregnancy(compared with 20% smoking tobacco and 18.5% drinking alcohol). The problem is therefore a significant one, particularly as it has implications for both mother and child.

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