Prenatal Drug Exposure

Prenatal drug exposure refers to the exposure of the developing fetus to licit and/or illicit psychoactive substances used by a pregnant woman. Recreational substances used by pregnant women may include alcohol, nicotine, marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, hallucinogens, and inhalants. Prescribed medications, such as opioid-containing pain relievers (e.g., oxycodone), tranquilizers, stimulants, or sedatives such as benzodiazepines can be misused during pregnancy. Women use substances during pregnancy because they are unaware of their pregnancy, are uneducated regarding the potential dangers of prenatal drug exposure, or have a substance use disorder and are unable to abstain from use. Prenatal drug exposure affects more children than many other common medical conditions and is linked to a variety of adverse outcomes for the pregnancy, the infant/child, and/or the mother. Intervention ...

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