Substance use during pregnancy: time for policy to catch up with research

The purpose of this review is to summarize policy research findings in the area of maternal prenatal substance abuse to (1) inform and advance this field, (2) identify future research needs, (3) inform policy making and (4) identify implications for policy. As a review, this is a systematic analysis of existing data (findings) on maternal drug use during pregnancy for determining the best policy among the alternatives for dealing with drug using mothers and their children.

The following are addressed: issues of efficacy (which policies work?), economics (how much does it cost?) and politics (who is it for or against?). For new policies it will also consider how they fit with existing policies or laws, the social impact, ethical issues and the feasibility of implementation and administration.