The aim of this study is to check the validity of the self-report of drug use by pregnant adolescents, by comparing their responses to a structured interview about their use of cocaine and marijuana during the pregnancy with an analysis of their hair.
Hair analysis detected the use of cocaine and/or marijuana in the third trimester of pregnancy in 60 (6%) patients. 40 (4%) patients used only marijuana, 17 (1.7%) used only cocaine, and 3 (0.3%) used both drugs. None of the patients had reported the use of these substances in their interviews with healthcare professionals.
Although the prevalence of the use of drugs during pregnancy is significant despite consistent evidence about the compromise of the neurobehavioral development of the newborns that are exposed to drugs during the prenatal period, drug use is frequently not reported. Therefore, more sensitive methods of detection should be used so that appropriate medical and psychosocial interventions can be implemented for the mothers as well as for their children.
Keywords: Underreporting; Pregnancy in adolescence; Cocaine; Cannabis