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Pediatría (Asunción)

versão On-line ISSN 1683-9803


SAMUDIO DOMINGUEZ, Gloria Celeste et al. Frequency of consumption of illicit addictive drugs in pregnant or postpartum women and their detection in newborns in a maternal and infant hospital in Asunción. Pediatr. (Asunción) [online]. 2023, vol.50, n.1, pp.48-57. ISSN 1683-9803.


Addiction to illicit substances constitutes a public health problem, from which pregnant women are not exempt. The deleterious effects on the fetus can have catastrophic consequences.


To determine the frequency of illicit drug use in pregnant women and to characterize these women and their newborns during the time period from July 2020 to July 2021.

Materials and methods:

this was a cross-sectional, descriptive, observational study with mothers suspected of drug use and their newborns (NBs). An association was sought between the studied variables. The Finnegan scale for neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) was used and the presence of drugs in urine was determined.


107 mother-child pairs were included. The prevalence of addicted mothers was 11.42%. Average age of mothers was 24.5 years and 29.9% were living on the street. 70% were vaginal deliveries, 90.5% with an APGAR score of 7-10. 26.1% were premature newborns. IUGR 34.5%, SGA 35.5%. 93.3% women self-reported as drug consumers, 57.9% had zero prenatal control. 56% of pregnant women presented obvious signs of being an illicit drug user upon admission. The most consumed drug was cocaine (COC), 85%. Detection of cocaine in newborns was 81.3%. NAS was diagnosed in 24.2% NB. Cocaine was found in the urine of 18/26 of the patients with NAS, and in 64/77 of the patients without withdrawal syndrome. 25.9% had Lues. An association of NAS with the presence of COC in the newborn was found.


drug use in pregnant women exposes the newborn to deleterious drugs, COC being the most frequently used drug. The prevalence of NAS was low, although we found an association between NAS and the presence of COC in newborns.

Palavras-chave : Drugs; addiction; newborns; neonatal abstinence syndrome.

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