Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Most babies born to mothers on methadone exposed to several illicit drugs in womb

Date:
July 8, 2013
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
Most babies born to drug addicted mums on methadone maintenance are exposed to several other drugs while in the womb, and half are additionally exposed to excess alcohol, reveal the results of a small study.

Most babies born to drug addicted mums on methadone maintenance are exposed to several other drugs while in the womb, and half are additionally exposed to excess alcohol, reveal the results of a small study published online in the Archives of Disease in Childhood Fetal & Neonatal Edition.

While the results may not be representative of the UK as a whole, nevertheless, excess drinking and drug taking in pregnancy is a pairing that is likely to be more common than generally thought, say the authors.

It is known that women prescribed maintenance methadone use other illicit drugs, but the extent to which they do this has never been quantified in the UK, nor are there any figures on the prevalence of drug and alcohol use during pregnancy for this group of women, they add.

They interviewed 56 mums who were on methadone maintenance during their pregnancy and carried out tox screens of the mums' and babies' urine, as well as meconium -- first stools -- within 3 days of birth -- to gauge levels of exposure to drugs and alcohol in the womb.

The samples were tested for opiates, benzodiazepines, amphetamines, cannabinoids, and cocaine, as well as fatty acid ethyl esters (FAEEs), which are by-products of alcohol consumption and indicate more than 2 units a day or more than 5 units in one go.

Most of the babies (51; 91%) had been exposed to other illicit drugs while in the womb, mostly opiates (73%) and benzodiazepines (70%). And 59% had been exposed to cannabinoids, 14% to amphetamines, and 7% to cocaine. The most common drug combo was opiates, benzodiazepines, and cannabinoids.

Almost half the babies (47%; 21) also had high FAEE levels, although only 5% of their mums admitted to drinking more than 7 units of alcohol a week during their pregnancy, a finding that has "significant implications" for the longer term health of an already vulnerable group of babies, say the authors.

Meconium analysis picked up prenatal drug and alcohol exposure far better than either urine analysis or interview, prompting the authors to comment: "It is well recognised that pregnant women under report illicit drug and alcohol use in pregnancy, often due to a fear of legal and custodial repercussions."

The pattern of drug and alcohol use in pregnancy will vary from region to region, they admit, but go on to say: "It seems likely, nevertheless, that excessive alcohol consumption is more commonly associated with drug misuse in pregnancy than is generally recognised."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. L. McGlone, H. Mactier, H. Hassan, G. Cooper. In utero drug and alcohol exposure in infants born to mothers prescribed maintenance methadone. Archives of Disease in Childhood - Fetal and Neonatal Edition, 2013; DOI: 10.1136/archdischild-2013-304158

Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Most babies born to mothers on methadone exposed to several illicit drugs in womb." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 July 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130708200204.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2013, July 8). Most babies born to mothers on methadone exposed to several illicit drugs in womb. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130708200204.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Most babies born to mothers on methadone exposed to several illicit drugs in womb." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130708200204.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) A new study says the season you're born in can determine your temperament — and one season has a surprising outcome. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Court Ruling Means Kids' Online Activity Could Be On Parents

Court Ruling Means Kids' Online Activity Could Be On Parents

Newsy (Oct. 17, 2014) In a ruling attorneys for both sides agreed was a first of its kind, a Georgia appeals court said parents can be held liable for what kids put online. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Foods To Boost Your Mood

The Best Foods To Boost Your Mood

Buzz60 (Oct. 17, 2014) Feeling down? Reach for the refrigerator, not the medicine cabinet! TC Newman (@PurpleTCNewman) shares some of the best foods to boost your mood. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
You Can Get Addicted To Google Glass, Apparently

You Can Get Addicted To Google Glass, Apparently

Newsy (Oct. 15, 2014) Researchers claim they’ve diagnosed the first example of the disorder in a 31-year-old U.S. Navy serviceman. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins