Date of Paper


Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)


Social Work

First Advisor

Ande Nesmith


Social Work


Drug use has become an increasing issue in society, affecting a wide variety of populations. Specifically, the use of substances has increasingly been entering the lives of women during pregnancy. As the number of women that use drugs and alcohol during pregnancy increases, more and more children are born experiencing the negative physical and psychological effects of prenatal exposure to drugs and alcohol, both short and long term. This study was designed to explore from the perspective of professionals, what challenges are faced by women who use substances during pregnancy and what types of services and interventions are most effective when helping women improve their overall health, as well as the health of their children. Three professionals, each from a different discipline, were interviewed for this study and the qualitative data was transcribed and analyzed to draw out key themes. The four main themes that emerged from the data analysis include reducing shame and blame, using strengths to empower, recognizing the uniqueness of situation and needs and challenges of the system. The findings of study provide implications for future social work practice both at the micro and the macro level as well as implications for future research.

Included in

Social Work Commons