Alcohol and Psychoactive Drugs in Pregnancy
Although often difficult to diagnose, the use of psychoactive drugs during pregnancy has become a commonly encountered occurrence. The present article aims to clarify the effects of alcohol, tobacco, narcotics, antidepressants, stimulants, halucinogenes and canabioids consumption on pregnancy and the newborn. There are differences within the types of drugs consumption: use/abuse/addiction of psychoactive medication during pregnancy. The fetal alcohol syndrome occurs in case of alcohol exposure during pregnancy. It is characterized by fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, lower neurobehavioral scores, mental retardation, heart defects and special facial features. Heroin consumption can lead to prematurity, intrauterine growth restriction, stillbirth or to hemorrhage in the third trimester of pregnancy; it can be associated with malnutrition, venereal diseases, hepatitis, pulmonary complications or preeclampsia. During pregnancy, the effects of cocaine use include cardiovascular complications, neurological complications, infections (sexually transmitted diseases – gonorrhea, Chlamydia infections, syphilis, HPV), obstetric complications (premature birth, fetal death, abruptio placentae). In the fetus, the consequences of cocaine consumption can trigger limb defects, urinary tract malformations, fetal microcephaly, perinatal cerebral infarctions. In conclusion, identifying the profile of pregnant drug users can trigger better care both for the mother, and for the fetus; information and prevention campaigns should provide data on their adverse effects on pregnancy.
Keywords: pregnancy, alcohol, heroin, cocaine, tobacco, narcotics, antidepressants, psychoactive medication