Addiction and Pregnancy: Maternal and Child Issues

  • L. P. Finnegan


The treatment of drug-dependent women presents challenges for the women as well as treatment professionals. A number of barriers exist that may prevent women from enrolling in treatment. These barriers include the paucity of gender specific services and those that are ethnically and culturally sensitive. Moreover, drug dependent women tend to neglect general health care and management is difficult due to frequent medical and psychiatric complications including the risk for HIV/AIDS. Socioeconomic difficulties such as poor housing, inadequate income, and lack of education, are complicated by emotional problems such as feelings of worthlessness and depression. Treatment for drug dependent women must include services for their medical illnesses, psychosocial counseling, and addictive therapies utilizing various modalities such as methadone maintenance and drug free in-patient services. Assessment of parenting skills in women with dependent children allows the identification of mothers who may be at risk for poor parenting, child abuse, or neglect. The potential complications associated with substance abuse can be markedly diminished in women if treatment professionals show compassion and provide persistent, comprehensive services.


Prenatal Care Foster Care Methadone Maintenance Treatment Methadone Maintenance Fetal Alcohol Syndrome 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. P. Finnegan
    • 1
  1. 1.Women’s Health InitiativeNational Institutes of HealthBethesdaUSA

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