Treatment of Substance Abuse During Pregnancy

Barry M Lester; Jean E Twomey


Women's Health. 2008;4(1):67-77. 

In This Article

Future Perspective

Continued advances in drug-abuse research show that drug addiction is a chronic brain disease that can be treated. The stigma of drug abuse during pregnancy is reduced. Programs are expanded to treat the whole family, including infants, older children and partners. Treatment goals should include child developmental and psychological needs. Large, randomized trials in multiple settings that include long-term follow-up are conducted to support traditional programs as well as new approaches. Pharmacotherapy approaches are developed in conjunction with behavioral treatments. Reimbursement for substance use and mental health services are bundled to make treatment more affordable and accessible, including carve outs for special populations. New approaches that await empirical validation include better use of the media and other technology and more attention to relationships, including the mother-infant relationships and the role of partners, and a broader understanding of the other forces that affect these women's lives, such as domestic violence.


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