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Management of Addiction Disorders in Pregnancy

Helmbrecht, Gary D. MD, FACOG; Thiagarajah, Siva MD, FACOG

Journal of Addiction Medicine: March 2008 - Volume 2 - Issue 1 - p 1-16
doi: 10.1097/ADM.0b013e318159d81a
Review Article

In this article, we will review the prevalence of addiction disorders in pregnancy and the impact that it has on perinatal morbidity and mortality. We will then review effective screening techniques and propose a management scheme for achieving short-term abstinence leading to the ultimate goal of long-term recovery. The various medical and obstetric complications unique to this patient population will be discussed as well as the specific adverse effects of substance abuse on placentation and the developing fetus. Finally, medications proven efficacious in the treatment of addiction disorders will be reviewed in the context of their use in the pregnant population.

From the Prenatal Diagnosis Center, Charlottesville, VA.

Received July 17, 2007; accepted August 28, 2007.

Send correspondence and reprint requests to Gary D. Helmbrecht, MD, FACOG, Prenatal Diagnosis Center, 600 Peter Jefferson Parkway, Suite 190, Charlottesville, VA 22911. e-mail:

© 2008 American Society of Addiction Medicine