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Substance use in pregnancy can have adverse effects on mother and fetus alike. Australia and the US are countries with high levels of substance use and policies advising abstinence, although the Australian approach occurs within a broader framework of harm minimization. Less attention has been paid to treatment of the mothers' substance use and what is considered gold standard. This is despite evidence that prior substance use in pregnancy is the most important factor in predicting future substance use in pregnancy. This paper draws together information from both the peer-reviewed and gray literature to provide a contemporary overview of patterns and outcomes of the three main drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis, used in Australia and the US during pregnancy and discusses what are considered gold standard screening and treatment approaches for these substances. This paper does not set out to be a comprehensive review of the area but rather aims to provide a concise summary of current guidelines for policy makers and practitioners who provide treatment for women who use substances in pregnancy.
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This is the first time we published an article in Substance Abuse: Research and Treatment, and we were pleased to find that the publishing staff were extremely helpful in guiding our submission through all the hoops. More important they answered our concerns without delay and where necessary made changes in the page proofs in accord with our wishes. I have published upwards of 80 or 90 articles, chapters and edited volumes, and I have ...