Drug-addicted mothers.

M A Correia, A P Oliveria, J P Almeida, C K Sing, J D Nobrega

Abstract


Drug addiction in Portuguese women has greatly increased recently and affects women of child-bearing age. The lack of scientific knowledge of the influence of drug addiction on pregnancy led us to create a model to approach the problem. With that purpose, a Clinic for Pregnant Drug Addicts was opened in the Alfredo da Costa Maternity Hospital in 1989, intended to set up a special permanent team to provide personalized pre-natal care. This clinic should be considered an integral part of multi-disciplinary action covering obstetrics, pediatrics, anesthesiology, nursing, clinical psychology and social assistance. The evolution of 164 pregnant women was monitored from October 1989 to December 1992, urine and amniotic fluid was analysed in 51 women. Due to the difficulty in applying standard criteria to the pregnancies observed, three levels of pre-natal care for the aforementioned 51 pregnant women, who are the object of this study, are proposed. The pre-natal observation of 164 pregnant drug addicts revealed that 74% were aged from 20 to 29 years, 49% had completed compulsory education, 59% were unemployed, 61% were unmarried and 82% had not planned their baby and had attended their first pre-natal clinic in the 19th week of pregnancy. The women's partners were drug addicts in 80% of cases. Their toxicological history revealed that 29% of them began taking drugs between the ages of 11 and 15, cannabis-based products being the first drug in 67% and opium-based in 28% of cases.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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