How is neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) prevented?

Updated: Dec 20, 2017
  • Author: Ashraf H Hamdan, MD, MBBCh, MSc, MRCP, FAAP; Chief Editor: Santina A Zanelli, MD  more...
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Identification of substance abuse was the first step in attempting to break the cycle of reproductive morbidity or mortality. Ideally, substance use should be terminated by women and their male sexual partner before conception. Pregnant drug-using women should be counseled at the earliest opportunity to abstain completely from all injurious substances and to seek prenatal care. Adequate dietary intake and supplemental prenatal vitamins should be stressed.

Early drug screening during pregnancy reveals the need for counseling in pregnant women with a history of drug abuse.

Federal, state, and local agencies should reduce barriers to the use of family planning services and increase access to early prenatal care and other health services, including drug rehabilitation.

Health education specifically targeting consequences of drug abuse during and after pregnancy is beneficial to prevent this growing social problem.

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