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Opiate Dependence and Pregnancy: 20-year follow-up study published
Friday, 4th April 2008  
   
Marie Whitty and John O'Connor
Psychiatric Bulletin (December 2007). 31:450-453.

A paper on a 20 year follow-up study of opiate dependence and pregnancy has been published by The Drug Treatment Centre Board in the Royal College of Psychiatrists, Journal of Psychiatric Practice: Psychiatric Bulletin.

At the launch of the brochure for the Conference on the Treatment of Adolescent Addiction
Dr. John J. O'Connor, Clinical Director, the Drug Treatment Centre Board.

This study examined the 20-year outcome of 55 women who were pregnant and using opiates in 1985 and were attending the Drug Treatment Centre and Advisory Board, Dublin. We established outcome across a number of variables, including mortality, psychiatric and physical morbidity, psychosocial functioning, ongoing drug misuse and outcome of offspring.

RESULTS

At 20-year follow-up 29 women (53%) were deceased. HIV was the commonest cause of death, accounting for 17 deaths (59%). Those who were alive at follow-up displayed high rates of unemployment (84%), illicit substance misuse (74%) and most were dependent on state-subsidised accommodation (78%).

CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS

Mortality was higher in our group compared with other long-term follow-up samples. These findings suggest that such participants and their offspring require intensive long-term support and treatment.

Click here to view the published paper.




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