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A Journal on Psychiatry, Psychology and Psychopharmacology

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Social Psychiatry
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Minerva Psichiatrica 2010 December;51(4):271-80

language: English

An overview of opiate use during pregnancy: an evidence-based approach to treatment

Mitchell A. M. 1, Kameg K. 2, Founds S. 1

1 University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
2 Robert Morris University, Moon Township, PA, USA


Pregnancy under normal physical and psychological conditions can be a stressful period of rapid adaptations for many women but when pre-existing risks are present, pregnancy can be hazardous for the mother, fetus, and neonate. One such complication is maternal substance abuse and dependence. Perinatal opiate use in particular presents an extreme challenge for health care providers, because problems associated with it impact virtually every aspect of the woman’s life and the life of her baby. Physical and psychological dependence as well as numerous social lifestyle complications all play a part in maternal, fetal, and neonatal morbidity and mortality associated with opiate abuse and addiction. This article provides an overview of addiction, with an emphasis on opiate addiction and its impact during pregnancy. Discussion of the pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments of opiate abuse and dependence will be included.

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