Motivational Enhancement Therapy for Nicotine Dependence in Methadone-Maintained Pregnant Women

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Pregnant women who are dependent on nicotine and illicit substances are at especially high risk for health complications and psychosocial problems. Motivational enhancement therapy (MET) for reducing smoking during pregnancy was compared with standard-care practitioner advice in a 2-group randomized design. Participants were 63 pregnant opioid-dependent smokers seeking substance abuse treatment, methadone maintenance, and prenatal care. At a 10-week follow-up, self-report and biological measures (i.e., CO, cotinine) indicated no differences in smoking between the MET and standard-care groups. However, MET participants were more likely to have moved forward on the stage of change continuum than those in standard care. Intensive treatment for nicotine dependence, environmental interventions, and innovative harm reduction strategies are recommended to address the barriers to quitting observed in this population of pregnant women.

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