Editorial - Journal of Pediatric Neurological Disorders (2023) Volume 6, Issue 2

Perinatal Psychoactive Substances Use: A Growing Concern for Mental Health in Pregnancy

Collin Smith*

Department of Life Science, University of Aberdeen, UK

*Corresponding Author:
Collin Smith
Department of Life Science, University of Aberdeen, UK
E-mail: smith@uk.ac.in

Received: 01-Apr-2023, Manuscript No. pnn-23-97096; Editor assigned: 03-Apr-2023, PreQC No. pnn-23- 97096(PQ); Reviewed: 17-Apr-2023, QC No. pnn-23-97096; Revised: 20- Apr-2023, Manuscript No. pnn-23- 97096; Published: 27-Apr-2023, DOI: 10.37532/pnn.2023.6(2).38-41



Psychoactive drug use has skyrocketed worldwide among women of childbearing age and during the perinatal period. However, using narcotics, alcohol, or tobacco while pregnant poses serious health risks for the mother, the unborn child, and the developing fetus. Methods: This survey of latest things and outcomes of psychoactive substance use in the overall public and in pregnant ladies was led utilizing the English and French writing distributed during the years 2000 to 2022, enhanced by rules, meta-examinations and audits.


It was estimated that 380,000 offspring were exposed to illicit substances, more than 500,000 to alcohol, and more than one million to tobacco during uterine life based on current rates of prenatal substance use. Inexplicably, drug-related pregnancy-associated mortality has increased by 190% in the United States between 2010 and 2019. Various medications of misuse, when utilized during pregnancy, Increment the gamble of stillbirth, neonatal forbearance disorder and abrupt baby passing. Premature membrane rupture, placental abruption, preterm birth, and low birth space are all adverse pregnancy effects. Weight and infants too small for their gestational age. There is likewise an expanded gamble of dreariness. Furthermore, mortality for the pregnant ladies. Long haul negative unfavorable impacts of perinatal openness to substances likewise incorporate various neurocognitive, conduct and close to home dysfunctions in babies. Each kind of substance has its own specificities, which will be momentarily summed up.


All women of childbearing age must be made aware of the dangers of using psychoactive substances before becoming pregnant, and they should be encouraged to stop using them when they know they are pregnant or are planning to. At the first prenatal visit, as well as at each subsequent visit up until delivery, women should be systematically questioned about their alcohol consumption. It is possible to save the lives of mothers and mitigate serious adverse effects on their offspring through multidisciplinary prevention strategies and intervention strategies that are specific to each type of psychoactive substance.


Woman • Psychoactive • Pregnancy • Gestational age • Offspring


Male gender, unhealthy lifestyles, and risky behaviors have been linked for years to drinking, smoking, and using illegal drugs. However, both men and women's rates of psychoactive substance use and addiction have significantly increased over the past few decades. For instance, Western teenage girls are 15 times more likely than their mothers to begin using illegal drugs by the age of 15. As a direct consequence of this, there was a significant rise in the use of psychoactive drugs among women who were of childbearing age and during the perinatal period. However, there is no safe use of tobacco, alcohol, or illicit substances during pregnancy; however, the use of psychoactive substances during pregnancy poses a significant health risk for the mother, the developing fetus, and the newborn. The risk of infant growth restriction remains unknown even when using caffeine, and the maximum recommended dose of caffeine during pregnancy is 200 mg per day. In general, female addictive patterns and behaviors differ significantly from those of men. Female drinkers, for instance, use alcohol in different ways than male drinkers do. Women are more likely than men to become drunk, become addicted, and develop relatedsomatic diseases earlier. In Europe, alcoholism is the third factor that increases the risk of somatic disease and death in women; tobacco being the subsequent one.

Additionally, hormones, vulnerability, and environmental triggers may play a significant role in gender differences between men and women. As a result, men and women have different susceptibilities to relapse and different risk factors for relapse. Women, on the other hand, are more sensitive to social cues than men are to nicotine's reinforcing effects. In a similar vein, women and men with cocaine use disorders were found to have distinct differences in the neural correlates of cue-induced craving. In women, cortical– striatal–limbic hyperactivity was linked to stress cues, while in men; it was linked to drug cues. In addition, excessive drinking raises the risk of injury, accidental death, unsafe sexual behavior, and sexual violence in women. Women who use alcohol or other illegal substances are more likely to suffer severe long-term consequences from sexually transmitted diseases. The prevalence of HIV/AIDS in heterosexual women is rising. Lastly, nearly 70% of women in addiction treatment were sexually abused as children, compared to 12% of men [1].

Affectivity of Psychoactive substances during pregnancy

Using of stimulant

Women who use stimulants are more likely to also have depression. Methamphetamine use during pregnancy represents a more serious gamble of creating unconstrained unsuccessful labor, toxemia, untimely detachment of the placenta and untimely delivery. Stimulant use during pregnancy can result in low birth weight and an increased risk of neuro behavioral issues in children [2].

Alcohol consumption

In spite of worldwide agreement suggesting complete liquor forbearance during pregnancy, it stays a significant general medical problem. The most significant risk factor for avoidable neurodevelopmental disorders is prenatal alcohol exposure. Numerous negative outcomes, including preterm birth, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), spontaneous abortion, stillbirth, weight and growth deficiencies, and other birth defects, were linked to alcohol use during pregnancy. FASD is portrayed by development lacks, craniofacial dysmorphologies and mind harm. There was a link between drinking alcohol before pregnancy and intellectual or motor disabilities; learning, consideration as well as language problems; lack of self-control; as well as inactivity. The most comprehensive form of FASD is Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). Later mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, drug and alcohol use disorders, and behavioral disorders such as inappropriate sexual behaviors that may increase the rate of delinquency may also be linked to fetal alcohol exposure. These negative outcomes may be reduced or even prevented with early diagnosis and treatment of FASD. However, FASD is frequently misdiagnosed. When brain damage becomes irreversible and permanent, the diagnosis is frequently made after the child has been born, sometimes even as an adult. FAS affect 14.6 people out of every 10,000 people worldwide. Europe had the highest prevalence (37.4 per 10,000) and South Africa had the lowest (585.3 per 10,000). The Arab countries had the lowest prevalence (0.2–0.9 per 10,000). According to available data, one in every 67 pregnant women in Australia, the United States, Canada, South Korea, Italy, and France gave birth to a child with fetal alcohol syndrome [3].

Opioid uptake

Opioids can cross the blood brain and placental barriers. Pregnancy opioid exposure can lead to a number of obstetric complications, including premature membrane rupture, preeclampsia, abruption placentae, and fetal death. Preterm birth, low birth weight or height, a smaller head circumference, and SIDS are all negative outcomes for newborns. NAS is one more continuous antagonistic result generally saw in babies uncovered to narcotics during pregnancy. The incidence of NAS increased by five in the United States between 2000 and 2012. Infants and preschool-aged children exposed before birth were found to have significant impairments in cognitive, psychomotor, and behavioral outcomes. Finally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention highlight the twofold increase in the risk of congenital heart defects, neural tube defects, and gastroschisis following opioid use during early pregnancy.


According to the trend line of substance use among women, use of psychoactive substances is on the rise among women and girls as young as 15 years old. There is a significant difference in preponderance across regions and across various age groups that needs to be taken into consideration in addition to the notable gender differences in the rates, trends, patterns of use, and bio psychosocial adversities that are associated with the use of psychoactive substances. The observed variations in prevalence among nations would assist international organizations in determining how to allocate resources and where they need to shift their focus in order to enhance education and prevention. Gender-sensitive national programs designed to address substance use disorders must take into account the unique characteristics of substance use among women and girls, the central role that violence and abuse play in the vicious cycle of chronic and relapsing substance use, and adequate care for protecting and supporting survivors of violence [4, 5].

In addition to the social repercussions of unplanned and/or unwanted pregnancies, exposure to interpersonal violence, and other disadvantages, psychoactive substance use during pregnancy is associated with a wide range of adverse effects. All of this points to the need for a multidisciplinary approach to the problem of psychoactive substance abuse among women of childbearing age in general and during pregnancy in particular. Taking into account those children who are born with a doublepronged vulnerability one that is both genetic and environmental and including living partners and close family members in prevention and intervention strategies are essential [6]. At the first antenatal visit and at every prenatal visit, systematic inquiries regarding alcohol, tobacco, and illicit substance use should be made. It is universally acknowledged that referring pregnant women who smoke to smoking cessation services is essential due to the fact that an average of 20% of women report smoking during pregnancy. Importantly, our literature review emphasized the need to focus on protecting pregnant women who are exposed to secondhand smoke the number of pregnant women exposed to secondhand smoke far outnumbers those who smoke actively. National bodies should adopt virtually smoke-free indoor areas for workplaces and homes as part of tobacco control measures. Ideally, partners who smoke should be included in both awareness programs and services for quitting. Additionally, we suggest that the number of pregnant women who actively smoke and those who are exposed to secondhand smoke be counted as part of international bodies' national and global surveillance. If there is any doubt regarding alcohol exposure during pregnancy, alcohol metabolites should be measured in the meconium of newborns and FASD must be searched for at birth (first known cause of neurodevelopmental disorder) [7].

When prescribing opioids during pregnancy, doctors should carefully weigh the benefits and risks. Health care providers should arrange for the delivery to take place at a facility equipped to monitor, evaluate, and treat NAS in the event of opioid prescription or use of illegal substances during pregnancy. When treating pregnant women who use psychoactive substances, greater caution is required than when treating substance use disorders in men. To avoid unwarranted perinatal adversities for the mother and the developing offspring, it is essential to balance the risks and benefits of pharmacotherapy use during the perinatal period [8, 9].

There is some disagreement regarding the longterm effects of psychoactive substance exposure. More research is needed to fill in the gaps in our understanding and provide substantial evidence regarding the nature and extent of any lifelong challenges faced by offspring while controlling for confounding factors [10].


A critical expansion in psychoactive medication use is seen in ladies of child bearing age and during the perinatal period around the world. There is no safe use of psychoactive substances during pregnancy. Notwithstanding normal unfavorable impacts on the mother, on the actual pregnancy and on the infant, each kind of psychoactive substance has its own particular unfavorable impacts remembering long haul ramifications for the newborn child. Due to the fact that the majority of pregnant women are motivated by the desire to deliver a healthy child, pregnancy provides an important window of opportunity for the treatment of psychoactive substance use. Living partners ought to be involved in the detoxification process as much as possible. It is possible to save the lives of mothers and mitigate serious adverse effects on their offspring through multidisciplinary prevention strategies and intervention strategies that are specific to each type of psychoactive substance.


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