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Substance abuse during pregnancy: Guidelines for screening

Office of Healthy Communities, Washington State Department of Health – 2012

Washington State’s guidelines for screening and identifying pregnant women with substance abuse issues. Describes the scope of the problem and the benefits of universal screening in health care settings. Outlines the elements of successful screenings, and includes tips on how to address patients’ responses in different scenarios. Provides an overview of urine toxicology testing, and lists risk factors that indicate testing or further assessment. Lists behavioral, physical, medical history, and lab test indicators of substance abuse. Discusses consent issues. Provides information on referral to treatment, harm reduction strategies, and pregnancy management interventions (prenatal, intrapartum, and postpartum). Notes associated issues to consider in the areas of psychosocial, medical, and support and follow-up. Appendices include screening tools for drug and alcohol use, sample brief interview and referral to treatment tip sheet, resources for further information, Washington’s prenatal substance abuse policy and guidelines for testing and reporting drug exposed newborns, and a collection of national medical and public health statements addressing the prosecution of pregnant women.