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Substance Use

NPA cares about pregnant and parenting people who are substance dependent and their babies.


An emerging body of evidence tells us how to deliver timely and appropriate perinatal care for this population.


But it requires collaboration across time, settings, and disciplines. 

We believe that by working together we can improve the standard of care for these families and support better outcomes


"While the perinatal period presents unique risks for those who are substance dependent and their babies, it is also a time when there are unique opportunities for positive intervention. As clinicians, mental health, and community health care providers, it is imperative that we understand the nature of perinatal substance use disorders and provide interventions and care that preserve the parent-infant dyad, promote parenting potential, and support the baby’s health and development."

from the NPA Position Statement on Perinatal Substance Use

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In 2015 the National Perinatal Association and our partners, National Advocates for Pregnant Women, hosted the symposium, Pregnant Women, Drug Use, and NAS: Experts Share Science & Strategies that Help Women, Babies, and Families.

We knew that in order to improve perinatal care and health policy we needed to bring together a diverse group of stakeholders. So we invited parents, providers, community leaders, policy makers, and family advocates to come together in search of interdisciplinary solutions.

In 2016 we convened the NPA Workgroup on Perinatal Substance Use with the goal of creating evidence-based, family-centered care recommendations for the support of drug using women and their families. 

In 2018 we presented our work at our March conference, Perinatal Substance Use: Evidence-Based Solutions and Support for the Family at Loma Linda University Children's Hospital in Loma Linda, California.



At NPA we know that the language that we use shapes the way we think.

We want to change the way we talk about pregnancy and substance use.

We encourage you to download, print, and share these with your community.

We just ask that you please don't change the content or message in any way and please be sure to credit the NPA Workgroup on Perinatal Substance Use.



If you are interested in adapting these materials for use by your program or agency,

please contact Erika Goyer, NPA's Director of Communications and Perinatal Substance Use Co-Chair.

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