Prenatal Opioid Exposure and Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome: A Research Project with Indigenous Peoples in Ontario First Nations
(Prenatal Opioid Exposure)


Aggie Mazzucco

Prenatal opioid exposure has risen substantially over the past two decades and can have lasting health impacts for infants and children, including potential long-term neurodevelopmental impairments. Neonatal abstinence syndrome is a withdrawal syndrome observed in the babies of individuals who are either using opioids or being treated for opioid dependence during pregnancy. In 2017, the Southern Ontario Community Wellness Development Team was contacted by First Nations who were concerned about the impact of prenatal opioid exposure on the health of school-aged children in their communities. In this project, we are working closely with First Nation communities in Ontario to better understand neonatal abstinence syndrome and prenatal opioid exposure so that future community- and culturally-appropriate interventions can be developed and used by families, schools, and community services to support children with prenatal opioid exposure.

Research theme:
BRIGHT Beginnings: Projects to optimize brain and developmental outcomes

Age range: 
0-15 years

Principal Investigators: 
Astrid Guttmann, ICES, The Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto
Serene Kerpan, Ontario Tech University
Jennifer Walker, ICES, Laurentian University

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