Methods used to detect drug abuse in pregnancy: a brief review

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14 Citations (Scopus)


A brief review of different methods adopted to assess foetal drug exposure is reported here. Various operative procedures have been described in the literature to detect drug abuse in pregnancy. All protocols can be clustered into two main groups: self-report and interview procedures and analytical methods. The latter can be performed on tissues and:or fluids withdrawn from the mother, from the new-born or both. The aim of this review is to analyse the capability of these different techniques and the suitability of the biological specimens in view of the lack of consensus on a method of choice. The results obtained and the conclusions are different between various authors. A brief discussion on the capability of the different techniques and biological specimens adopted for this purpose is presented.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-271
Number of pages15
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • Analytical techniques
  • Drug abuse
  • Pregnancy


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