Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search


UC Research Investigates Drug-taking Pregnant Mothers

UC Research Investigates Needs of Drug-taking Pregnant Mothers
May 3, 2013
Drug-dependent pregnant women are very high-risk, with high rates of chronic physical and mental health problems including depression and hepatitis C, University of Canterbury (UC) research has found.
Women on methadone maintenance are around six times more likely to be welfare dependent and three times more likely to have no formal educational qualifications, lead research author and clinical psychologist Dr Alison Davie-Gray says.
``Nearly half of the methadone group we studied were facing pregnancy with little or no partner support, compared to a group of randomly-selected pregnant women who had 90 percent support.
``During pregnancy, more than half of the methadone group continued to use some licit and illicit drugs and nearly all were cigarette smokers; whilst in the other group, 17 percent of women reported smoking cigarettes and 22 percent reported drinking alcohol.
``Our study showed evidence of the effectiveness of methadone maintenance in reducing maternal use of illicit opiates. While, in both groups, the prevalence of significant substance use among pregnant women was of concern there was, nevertheless, an encouraging trend for substance use to reduce over the course of pregnancy,’’ Dr Davie-Gray says.
The study was carried out by UC’s Canterbury Child Development Research Group, under the leadership of Professor Lianne Woodward, in collaboration with the Canterbury District Health Board.
The research, published in the Neurotoxicology and Teratology journalinvestigated maternal psycho-social risk and drug use in 81 pregnant women, enrolled in methadone maintenance and 107 non-drug-taking women.
``Recent research indicates that in New Zealand, an estimated 10,000 adults are opiate-dependent. For these individuals, opioid substitution treatment using methadone maintenance is the treatment of choice and pregnant women are prioritised for this service. In Christchurch, typically 20 to 30 infants are born each year to women on the Christchurch methadone programme.
``Understanding the family environments of infants born to mothers experiencing problems with drug dependence is vital to improving services.
``As families with significant daily challenges, their support needs are likely to extend beyond the neonatal period.
``Specialist ante-natal and neonatal teams at Christchurch Women’s Hospital work together with the Christchurch methadone programme to assist opiate-dependent women during pregnancy and for a short time after the births of their children.
``However, longer-term targeted intervention for families is lacking. This UC study aims to address a number of important issues concerning the needs of these children and families with the broader goal of improving prevention and intervention strategies aimed at reducing risks associated with parental drug dependence,’’ Dr Davie-Gray says. 


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


DIY: Kiwi Ingenuity And Masking Tape Saves Chick

Kiwi ingenuity and masking tape has saved a Kiwi chick after its egg was badly damaged endangering the chick's life. The egg was delivered to Kiwi Encounter at Rainbow Springs in Rotorua 14 days ago by a DOC worker with a large hole in its shell and against all odds has just successfully hatched. More>>


Trade: Key To Lead Mission To India; ASEAN FTA Review Announced

Prime Minister John Key will lead a trade delegation to India next week, saying the pursuit of a free trade agreement with the protectionist giant is "the primary reason we're going" but playing down the likelihood of early progress. More>>



MYOB: Digital Signatures Go Live

From today, Inland Revenue will begin accepting “digital signatures”, saving businesses and their accountants a huge amount of administration time and further reducing the need for pen and paper in the workplace. More>>

Oil Searches: Norway's Statoil Quits Reinga Basin

Statoil, the Norwegian state-owned oil company, has given up oil and gas exploration in Northland's Reinga Basin, saying the probably of a find was 'too low'. More>>


Modern Living: Auckland Development Blowouts Reminiscent Of Run Up To GFC

The collapse of property developments in Auckland is "almost groundhog day" to the run-up of the global financial crisis in 2007/2008 as banks refuse to fund projects due to blowouts in construction and labour costs, says John Kensington, the author of KPMG's Financial Institutions Performance Survey. More>>


Health: New Zealand's First ‘No Sugary Drinks’ Logo Unveiled

New Zealand’s first “no sugary drinks logo” has been unveiled at an event in Wellington... It will empower communities around New Zealand to lift their health and wellbeing and send a clear message about the damage caused by too much sugar in our diets. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news