An anonymous support group forpregnant women with addictions Developed by Jennifer Peterson
“Without addressing the stigma of addiction, biases against poor and minority women, unequal access to services and relative unavailability of services, we will make little progress toward reducing the occurrence of substance use by pregnant women” -L.W. Roberts and L.B. Dunn, 2003
Addiction of any substance can afflict any person including a pregnant womanThis can range from anywhere between tobacco use, alcohol abuse, marijuana and other illicit drugs such as cocaine, methamphetine, crack, heroin and hallucinogenicsJust as other addicts need help and support, the pregnant woman could need more
“Nearly 4% of pregnant women in the United States use illicit drugs…” (March of Dimes), “18% report smoking tobacco, 9.8% report drinking alcohol” (Jones)Hormonal changes and environmental factors can increase the need to “feel good”Mother is the support system for the unborn babyShe is responsible for not only her life, but the baby’s as well
The pregnant woman my just need someone to talk to or more importantly relate to.She may feel lonely or isolated from support.She may be afraid to seek treatment.Common situations lead to opening communication barriers. “Treatment of pregnant drug-addicted women is best provided in a single-gender, comprehensive approach.” (Jones)
“Staff can build relationships with the mother while treating their drug problems and providing them with vital health information” (National Crime Prevention Council)Teach the mother of the health risks she is creating for herself and the babyEducate on the effects that can be suffered later in life
Begin an open anonymous support group for the drug addicted pregnant womanProvide one hour weekly meetings in a small group for open discussionsAlso provide monthly, individual, private meetings for the woman to discuss goal setting and personal issues that she may not want to discuss with othersCan be supported and funded through government grants, community fundraisers, private and business donations
The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University. “Pregnancy and Substance Abuse.” Women under the Influence. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006. 103-130. Jones, Hendree E. “Drug Addiction During Pregnancy: Advances in Maternal Treatment and Understanding Child Outcomes.” Current Directions In Psychological Science 15:3 (2006): 126-130.
“Prenatal Exposure to Drugs of Abuse.” Topics in Brief. May 2011. National Institute on Drug Abuse. 25 Sept 2012 http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/topics- in-brief/prenatal-exposure-to-drugs-abuse “Illicit Drug Use During Pregnancy.” Alcohol and Drugs. January 2008. March of Dimes. 25 Sept 2012. http://www.marchofdimes.com/pregnancy/alco hol_illicitdrug.html “Pregnancy and Drug Use.” Pregnancy Health. 2012. Epigee: Women’s Health. 25 Sept 2012. http://www.epigee.org/pregnancy/drugs.html
“Using Illegal Street Drugs During Pregnancy.” Pregnancy Wellness. May 2011. American Pregnancy Association. 25 Sept 2012. http://www.americanpregnancy.org/pregnan cyhealth/illegaldrugs.html “Strategy: Prenatal Care and Drug Abuse Treatment for Women.” Strategies. 2012. National Crime Prevention Council. 25 Sept 2012. http://www.ncpc.org/topics/drug- abuse/strategies/strategy-prenatal-care-and- drug-abuse-treatment-for-pregnant-women
Hitchcock Center for Women, Inc. Website. “FAQs”. 2012. http://hcfw.org/frequently- asked-questions/ CreangaAA, Sabel JC, Ko Jy, Shapiro-Mendoza CK et al. “Maternal drug use and its effect on neonates: a population-based study in Washington State”. Obstetrics and Gynecology. May 2012. 119.5: 924-33. Chavkin W. “Drug Addiction and Pregnancy: Policy Crossroads”. AJPH. April 1990. 80.4: 483-87.