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Suicidal Ideation Among Drug-Dependent Treatment-Seeking Inner-City Pregnant Women

NCJ Number
Journal of Maintenance in the Addictions Volume: 3 Issue: 2/3/4 Dated: 2005-2007 Pages: 53-64
Marc L. Copersino; Hendree Jones; Michelle Tuten; Dace Svikis
Date Published
12 pages
This study compared the psychiatric and lifestyle characteristics of women who did and did not report past and/or current suicidal ideation (SI) among treatment-seeking pregnant, opiate, and/or cocaine-dependent women admitted to the Center for Addiction and Pregnancy (CAP).
The study found that psychiatrically, SI women were more likely to have comorbid current and lifetime disorders than women who did not report SI. The higher incidence of comorbid cocaine, multiple drug dependencies, and psychiatric diagnoses among SI women shows a need for psychiatric evaluation and treatment that includes medications. Greater rates of victimization for women with SI support previous studies that linked a history of physical and sexual abuse with SI during pregnancy. The finding of greater rates of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in women with SI supports previously reported findings of a link between SI and PTSD among pregnant drug-dependent women. Housing stability was also a significant problem for the SI women. These findings highlight the need to identify women with histories of suicidal ideation and associated factors, so they may be confronted in treatment. Thirty-five of the 76 women in the study reported having past or current suicidal ideation. The sample was part of a larger behavioral research study of women in treatment at CAP between April 4, 2000, and December 13, 2000. All of the study participants completed an intake assessment battery during their first 7 days of residential treatment. The assessment battery included the Addiction Severity Index-Fifth Edition and the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I Disorders-Research Version. 1 table and 38 references


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