Document Type


Publication Date



Jacobs Institute of Women's Health / The George Washington University


This paper examines the current literature and policy implications of substance use and substance use disorders among pregnant and parenting women. While this is not meant to serve as an exhaustive literature review on this topic, it seeks to describe: current research on health effects of substance use and substance use disorders on pregnant women1 and their children; policies and programs that help ensure that pregnant women who use substances have access to the highest quality healthcare, including prenatal care; the current barriers to accessing treatment for substance use disorders for pregnant women, including those who are incarcerated; and the impact of laws and policies regarding substance use on pregnant women and families.


White paper presented as part of the Bridging the Divide project. More information about Bridging the Divide is available from the Jacobs Institute website.

Open Access




To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.