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Treatment for Cigarette, Alcohol & Drug Use During Pregnancy Dramatically Improves Outcomes for Mom and Baby, Kaiser Permanente Study Shows
Date:6/26/2008

abuse expert works in the OB/GYN department and sees the patients at the same time as their prenatal care appointments; and all providers and patients are educated about the effects of drugs, alcohol and cigarette use during pregnancy.

The program, which is in place in 40 Kaiser Permanente outpatient obstetric clinics in Northern California and being rolled out in other Kaiser Permanente facilities nationwide, screens nearly 40,000 women annually. By providing a licensed professional with expertise in substance abuse and pregnancy in the OB/GYN department -- so women have barrier-free access to care in a safe, supportive environment -- Early Start exceeds the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Committee on Ethics Opinion recommendations to use universal screening questions, brief intervention, and referral to treatment programs for substance abuse

"This study is a superb example of how effective the Kaiser Permanente's Early Start approach and methodology is in treating chemical dependency and substance abuse in pregnant women," said Margaret Merritt, Executive Director of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, District IX (California). "Early Start exceeds the guidelines set forth by ACOG and is a fantastic example of a program that can be incorporated in a variety of settings to reach this very important group of women."

The study was funded by a grant from the Direct Community Benefit Investment Fund of the Kaiser Foundation Research Institute. Other study co-authors included Mary Anne Armstrong, M.A.; Cosette J. Taillac, L.C.S.W., B.C.D.; and Veronica M. Osejo, B.S.

About the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research

The Kaiser Permanente Division of Research conducts, publishes, and disseminates epidemiologic and health services research to improve the health and medical care of Kaiser Permanente members and the society at large. It seeks to understand the determinants of illness and well-being and to
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