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Home > Substance abuse in an Irish antenatal population.

Lyons, F and Milner, M and Davey, C and Bosio, P and O'Connor, JJ and Dorman, Arthur and McKenna, P (1999) Substance abuse in an Irish antenatal population. Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology , 19 , (6) , pp. 609-11.

Substance abuse is prevalent in Ireland. The potential sequelae for abuser and carer are many. In pregnancy there are further problems. We assessed the prevalence of substance abuse in our antenatal population using an anonymous questionnaire and urine toxicology screening. We examined 522 women and 18 (3.4%) had positive urine toxicology. The anonymous questionnaire failed to identify all of these women.

No typical patient profile emerged when the demographic features were studied. We believe that our study has underestimated the true prevalence of substance abuse in our antenatal population and many factors may have contributed to this. Substance abuse in pregnancy remains a difficult problem to quantify and for the future the main focus of attention must be on education and prevention.


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