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Benefits of Residential Substance Abuse Treatment for Pregnant and Parenting Women

NCJ Number
Date Published
September 2001
13 pages
This report presents cross-site information on 50 programs that have provided long-term (6-12 months) residential substance abuse treatment for pregnant and postpartum women with children under or over 1 year old.
These programs were all initially funded by grants from the Federal Center for Substance Abuse Treatment in fiscal years 1993-95. Funded projects were required to provide gender-specific and culturally appropriate treatment services; on-site residential care for clients' infants or young children to enable clients to maintain supervised parenting relationships throughout their treatment; and comprehensive services for both clients and their infants/children. This report highlights cross-site study findings on projects and clients; pregnancy outcomes, including estimates of program impacts in reducing harm to infants; client outcomes, as indicated by pretreatment compared with posttreatment differences in areas such as drug use, criminal involvement, self-sufficiency, and parenting status; and project outcomes, as indicated by success in obtaining funding support for continued operation following the termination of the demonstration grant. The cross-site evaluation of the 50 projects found substantial health benefits for infants from reduced risks of low birth weight deliveries and other adverse pregnancy outcomes; high rates of posttreatment abstinence from alcohol and drugs; reduced criminal behavior; and improvement in economic well-being, personal relationships, and parenting status. Most successful projects ultimately persuaded their State legislatures to fund some or all of the costs of project operations after the Federal grants ended. In some cases, State support was supplemented by additional Federal grant support and/or private foundation funding. 2 exhibits, 5 references, and a list of the grantees