Guidelines for the Management of Pregnant Women With Substance Use Disorders

Psychosomatics. Mar-Apr 2016;57(2):115-30. doi: 10.1016/j.psym.2015.12.001. Epub 2015 Dec 3.


Background: Women of reproductive potential with substance use disorders, especially those who are pregnant, present many clinical challenges to healthcare providers, including comorbid psychiatric disorders, a history of trauma and abuse, avoidance of or poor access to prenatal care, fear of legal consequences, and countertransference reactions.

Methods: In November 2013, members of the Women's Mental Health Special Interest Group of the Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine presented a Workshop reviewing substance abuse in pregnancy, highlighting the specific contributions that psychosomatic medicine specialists can make in the care of these patients. The discussion focused on epidemiology; maternal and fetal risks; and screening and treatment considerations for tobacco, alcohol, cannabis, opioids, benzodiazepines, stimulants, and several other substances.

Objective: Our purpose in publishing this review is to provide clinicians and educators with the most up-to-date summary in this field to better engage these patients in care and break the intergenerational cycle of abuse and addiction.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / therapy*
  • Prenatal Care / methods*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / therapy*