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University Group Urges Treatment, Not Punishment, for Pregnant Addicts


July 1993

The Center for Health Policy Research (CHPR) at George Washington University (GWU) in Washington, D.C. is calling for treatment, rather than punishment, of pregnant addicts, noting that punishment has proven ineffectual in decreasing the negative impact of addiction on pregnant women and their babies. The issue is discussed in an overview in an article entitled "Pregnant Addicts: A Call For Treatment, Not Punishment" in the Washington Post Health weekly (Judy Licht, "Pregnant Addicts: A Call For Treatment, Not Punishment," Washington Post Health, 6/29/93, p. 13)

According to a June CHPR report of an estimated 280,000 pregnant addicts, less than 11 percent ever receive any sort of drug treatment, and far fewer receive comprehensive treatment services. Although the federal government spent $12 billion on anti-drug programs last year, less than one fifth was allocated for treatment, the report said.