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J Nerv Ment Dis. 1993 Aug;181(8):509-13.

Perinatal substance abusers. Psychological and social characteristics.

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  • 1Division of Substance Abuse Medicine, Medical College of Virginia Hospitals, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond 23298-0109.


Forty perinatal substance abusers were administered multiple psychosocial, addiction, and psychological measures before beginning treatment. Results indicate that these patients are limited intellectually, educationally, financially, and emotionally. Psychiatric comorbidity was high, with 45% having non-substance abuse axis I diagnoses and 75% having confirmed (by two or more tests) axis II pathology. The most frequently identified axis I disorders were depression and anxiety. The most frequently detected personality disorders were antisocial, borderline, paranoid, and dependent. The average IQ was 87 (low average range) and nearly one third of the sample were found to be somewhat impaired intellectually. These data suggest that treatment programs must take psychological characteristics into account if they are going to succeed in helping these women achieve and maintain abstinence.

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