Course Summary

Women have been reported to be at high risk of developing a substance use disorder as youth, and this risk increases during their reproductive years. Prenatal substance use has been correlated with severe harm to the mother and developing fetus. Tobacco is commonly used during pregnancy and it is often used with other substances, such as alcohol. The increase in opiate use in North America within the general population corresponds with a higher risk of opiate use during pregnancy, including risk of maternal withdrawal symptoms, fetal stress and neonatal abstinence syndrome. Once a health provider determines that a pregnant patient has an issue with substance use, the provider must address multiple issues related to the pregnant woman’s physical condition, severity of withdrawal, mental health, and health education needs related to lifestyle. These multiple issues are best dealt with by involving members of the interdisciplinary health team who have specialized skills to address these diverse needs.

Course Format


Course Syllabus

  • I.       Introduction
  • II.      Statistics of Substance Use During Pregnancy
    • 1.   Substance Use Disorder
  • III.      Screening for Substance Use
  • IV.      Adverse Effects of Substance Use During Pregnancy
    • 1.   Alcohol
    • 2.   Opioids
    • 3.   Marijuana
    • 4.   Tobacco
    • 5.   Cocaine
  • V.      Pharmacology Treatment for a Substance Use Disorder
    • 1.   Opioid Use Disorder
    • 2.   Alcohol Use Disorder
    • 3.   Tobacco
  • VI.      Case Study: Substance Use Disorder and Medication Therapy
  • VII.     Behavioral Health Treatments
    • 1.   Opioid Use Disorder
    • 2.   Alcohol Use Disorder
    • 3.   Smoking Cessation
  • VIII.   Case Study: Alcohol Use Disorder and Therapy
  • IX.      Medication Safety and Pregnancy
    • 1.   Category A Medications
    • 2.   Category B Medications
    • 3.   Category C Medications
    • 4.   Category D Medications
    • 5.   Category X Medications
    • 6.   New Model for Medication Classification
  • X.       Summary


Dana Bartlett, RN, BSN, MSN, MA, CSPI

Dana Bartlett is a professional nurse and author. His clinical experience includes 16 years of ICU and ER experience and over 27 years as a poison control center information specialist. Dana has published numerous CE and journal articles, written NCLEX material, textbook chapters, and more than 100 online CE articles, and done editing and reviewing for publishers such as Elsevier, Lippincott, and Thieme. He has written widely on the subject of toxicology and was a contributing editor, toxicology section, for Critical Care Nurse journal. He is currently employed at the Connecticut Poison Control Center. He lives in Wappingers Falls, NY.

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