Maternal Substance Abuse and Infant Health: Policy Options across the Life Course

Maternal substance abuse is a significant contributor to infant morbidity and mortality. The setting of prenatal care has long been the focus of interventions and policies to prevent these adverse outcomes. However, substance abuse programs and policies that are designed for women who are not yet pregnant can have a significant impact upon this problem. Thus it is essential to view the female life course from a broader perspective in order to consider the full range of policy options for reducing the infant mortality and morbidity caused by maternal substance abuse. This framework also allows comparisons across and between substances and offers new directions for policy development.

Author(s): John G. Frohna; Paula M. Lantz; Harold Pollack

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Volume 77, Issue 4 (pages 531–570)
DOI: 10.1111/1468-0009.00151
Published in 1999