Substance Abuse: Research and Treatment

Managing Maternal Substance Use in the Perinatal Period: Current Concerns and Treatment Approaches in the United States and Australia

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Substance Abuse: Research and Treatment 2016:Suppl. 1 55-61


Published on 08 Dec 2016

DOI: 10.4137/SART.S34558

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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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