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Determination of the prevalence of drug misuse by meconium analysis
  1. S Williamson1,
  2. L Jackson2,
  3. C Skeoch2,
  4. G Azzim3,
  5. R Anderson3
  1. 1Ninewells Hospital, Dundee, Scotland, UK
  2. 2Princess Royal Maternity Hospital, Glasgow, Scotland, UK
  3. 3University of Glasgow, Glasgow
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr Williamson
    University Department of Maternal and Child Health Sciences, Ninewells Hospital and Medical School, Dundee DD1 9SY, Scotland, UK; scott.williamson{at}


In a pilot study to determine the local prevalence of maternal drug misuse, meconium from 400 infants was analysed for metabolites of eight controlled drugs. Cannabinoids were found in 13.25%, cocaine in 2.75%, and amphetamine in 1.75%. The prevalence of opiate and benzodiazepine misuse was masked by the presence of prescribed drugs so was undeterminable.

  • meconium
  • maternal drug misuse
  • gas chromatography/mass spectrometry

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  • Competing interests: none declared