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Management of Chemical Dependence in Pregnancy


Clinical Obstetrics & Gynecology:
doi: 10.1097/GRF.0b013e31816fea77
Societal Factors in Pregnancy: Why Worry?

Although the percentage of pregnant patients who use illicit drugs is relatively low, the effects can be devastating on both mother and fetus—loss of custody, growth restriction, placental abruption, and death. The practicing obstetrician may be unfamiliar with the various presentations of chemical dependency in pregnancy, including intoxication and withdrawal, and difficulty in making the diagnosis. The obstetrician is in the unique situation of being responsible for the safety of both mother and fetus, which may involve engaging the unwilling patient in treatment.

Author Information

Addiction Medicine Services, Detroit Medical Center, Wayne State University; and Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Addiction Medicine Services, Detroit Medical Center, Detroit, Michigan

Correspondence: Carl Christensen, MD, PhD, MRO, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI. E-mail:

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.