A comparison study of treated and untreated pregnant
and postpartum cocaine-abusing women. Smith IE. Dent DZ. Coles CD.
Falek A. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment. 9(4):343-8, 1992.
The purpose of this study was to determine whether untreated pregnant
and recently post-partum cocaine-abusing women could be differentiated
from women who enrolled in drug treatment programs. The experimental
sample was selected from women referred to the Georgia Addiction, Pregnancy,
and Parenting Project, an intervention program for pregnant and postpartum
addicted women, between January 1987 and January 1988 (n = 45). The
comparison group was randomly selected from women who were admitted
to two (2) day treatment programs during the same time period (n = 50).
Groups were compared using the Addiction Severity Index (ASI) and the
Psychiatric Symptom Checklist-90 (SCL-90). Results indicated that untreated
women were less impaired socially and exhibited fewer symptoms of psychiatric
distress. These findings confirm the commonly held belief that the severity
of psychosocial distress may be an important motivating factor in the
decision to enter drug treatment. Alternatively, the lack of gender-sensitive
program components, such as childcare, and the social stigma attached
to drug use in pregnancy may also account for the reluctance of pregnant
and post-partum mothers to seek drug treatment. Implications for the
development of intervention and treatment programs for women are discussed.