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USDTL Antenatal Screening for Alcohol and Substance of Abuse

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Drug and alcohol abuse occurs in all segments of society. A recent survey from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reported that among pregnant women, aged 15 to 44 years 4.4% used illicit drugs in the previous month, 10.8% reported alcohol use, and 4.7% admitted binge or heavy drinking. Substance abuse is a contributing factor to a variety of developmental and behavioral conditions. A substance abusing mother is more likely to neglect her newborn. 

Pregnancy may be the one time in a woman’s life when she would be open to treating important issues like drug and alcohol abuse. Addiction is a serious disease that can improve with treatment. Current identification methods rely on maternal self-report, use of a universal screening tool, or positive urine toxicology results. Maternal self-report may be limited by concerns about social stigma or possible legal implications. Screening tools require skill and training to develop effective interview techniques. Urine toxicology is not an effective tool in identifying alcohol abuse and has limited value with drugs. With the exception of marijuana, urine generally provides a 1-3 day window of exposure for illicit drug use. Therefore; the most effective antenatal drug or alcohol treatment program includes objective drug testing to monitor relapse.

Drug and alcohol toxicology test methods are a key component of any treatment program. USDTL offers customizable drug test panels in a variety of sample matrices, hair, nails, blood, urine, oral fluid, meconium, and umbilical cord sections. The laboratory provides a confirmed test result for a specific drug or metabolite. The unique test panels help identify a growing problem of polysubstance abuse.

Visit our website at https://www.usdtl.com/ for more information.

09Nov

The Fetus & Newborn: State-of-the-Art Care

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Bob Demaree, Clinical Projects Manager at USDTL is at The Fetus & Newborn: State-of-the-Art Care conference in Las Vegas, NV this week. He welcomes every attendee to stop by and learn more about our newborn testing. More importantly our newest assay which can measure an alcohol biomarker in umbilical cord tissue.

Fetal alcohol exposure has been recognized as the leading cause of preventable mental retardation and birth defects. Each year in the United States approximately 40,000 alcohol exposed newborns are diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. This condition can result in a variety of physical, behavioral and learning disorders. A recent SAMHSA survey reviewing data collected in 2009-2010 reported that 4.7 percent of pregnant women admitted binge or heavy drinking. Early identification is a key factor to improving outcomes for this group. Currently, identification relies on maternal 
self-report or the presence of a set of unique physical characteristics. Self-report has limited value in determining alcohol exposure and the physical characteristics may not appear until later in child’s development.

A positive result from our CordStat EtOH is an indication of risky alcohol drinking behavior in the last two to four weeks of pregnancy.

To find out more call customer serivce at 800.235.2367.