Prenatal Substance Abuse


A 21-year old woman presents for her initial prenatal visit, even though she is well into her third trimester and her EDC is predicted to be within a month or so. Her boyfriend, the father of the child, is not present and has not been supportive to date of the pregnancy. She is also not on good terms with her own parents. Upon initial assessment, she denies alcohol or drug use but after a while, she opens up and talks about an ongoing opioid addiction. She reports taking Percocet bought on the street but due to cost, she has recently begun using heroin. It becomes clear that she will not be “clean” prior to her delivery and that her child will be born also affected by maternal opiate use. Since she has almost no external support, you know that after she delivers, she will be the primary caregiver of the infant and also hopefully working a detox program.


What is the accepted name of the condition with which the child will be born?

What are the peri-natal risks to the infant?

What are the post-natal risks to the infant?

What are the post-natal risks to the mother?

Is there any evidence on the long-term risk to the child?

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