Skip Page Header

Home > Opiate dependence and pregnancy: 20-year follow-up study.

Whitty, M and O'Connor, JJ (2007) Opiate dependence and pregnancy: 20-year follow-up study. Psychiatric Bulletin , 31 , pp. 450-453.


This study examined the 20-year outcome of 55 women who were pregnant and using opiates in 1985 and were attending the Drug Treatment Centre Board in Dublin. We established outcome across a number of variables, including mortality, psychiatric and physical morbidity, psychosocial functioning, ongoing drug misuse and outcome of offspring.

At 20-year follow-up 29 women (53%) were deceased; HIV accounted for 17 deaths (59%). Those who were alive at follow-up displayed high rates of unemployment (84%) and of illicit substance misuse (74%), and most were dependent on state-subsidised accommodation (78%). Mortality was higher in our group than in other long-term follow-up samples. These findings suggest that such participants and their offspring require intensive long-term support and treatment.

Item Type
Page Range
pp. 450-453
Royal College of Psychiatrists
Dublin, high-risk group, morbidity, opiates, pregnancy as a life event, pregnant female
Accession Number
HRB 1654 (Electronic Only)

Repository Staff Only: item control page