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Maternal Substance Use Disorder as Health Issue

Alvarez-Monjaras, M., Rutherford, H. J. V., & Mayes, L. C. (2019). Personality organization and maternal addiction: A structural-developmental psychodynamic contribution. Psychoanalytic Psychology, 36(4), 321-327. Web.

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Parenthood is typified by variations in interpersonal connections, social requirements, and anticipations of nurturing the child successfully. Transition to parenthood holds conscious and unconscious desires and imaginations associated with one’s child and the experiences of being a parent, where there are at times dissatisfactions from not satisfying the ensuing goals. Maternity may be considered a susceptible stage for women who are grappling with self-control and psychological dysregulation, which may be a causal factor for involvement in substance abuse. Attributable to the negative effects and poor developmental consequences in the children of women with substance use disorder, special consideration should be given to addiction to diminish risk and prevent the perpetuation of the practice across cohorts. Psychodynamic theory elucidates addiction as an outcome of compromised occurrences, issues in self-advancement, and poor handling of psychological problems. Mothers with substance use disorder are often unduly punitive, authoritarian, and less receptive to the needs of their children. Substance use disorder might be better taken as a developmental, instead of an exclusively neurochemical, problem. Health interventions should seek to assist addicted mothers to overcome the adaptive, growth-associated emotional problems and develop a strong and flexible personality that will prevent any form of psychopathology.

Fridman, E. (2019). Insecure attachment and drug misuse among women. Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions, 19(3), 223-237. Web.

Drug misuse remains a public health issue in many nations across the globe with more than 20 million Americans aged 12 years and above suffering from substance use disorder. Attachment theory presents drug misuse as a deep-seated problem of self-control attributable to insure connections during babyhood and early childhood. In line with this theory, children and adolescents who receive insecure attachments and traumatic experiences have a high likelihood of having behavioral problems or resorting to substance use that might extend into adulthood. Females have been established to have a high probability of engaging in drug misuse as a response to challenges in the family, for example, sexual, psychological, and physical abuse, in addition to divorce. Attachment-related treatment needs to be well-thought-out in the evaluation, prevention, and therapy of women with substance use disorder. The significance of attachment-associated treatment is on the development of secure attachment and assisting women to build the capacity to create helpful and strong bonds.

Meulewaeter, F., De Pauw, S. S., & Vanderplasschen, W. (2019). Mothering, substance use disorders and intergenerational trauma transmission: An attachment-based perspective. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 10(728), 1-17. Web.

Consistent with the attachment theory, infants have a fundamental need to develop an emotional connection with a loving and caring grown-up from birth. If this does not happen, the arising insecure attachment may act as a susceptibility aspect for alcoholism and other substance use disorders and could result in early drop-out in therapy. Effective treatment counters the effects of insecure attachment during childhood by providing a feeling of comfort, security, and predictability for people with substance use disorders. Lasting exposure to drugs within the uterus is linked to severe fetal, infant, and early childhood consequences. Moreover, maternal substance use disorder causes dysfunctional parenting roles, psychiatric comorbidity, and unsettling attachment practices in children. Using thorough qualitative interviews, 23 women with substance use disorders shared on their parenting practices and parent-child attachment. After the verbatim transcription of data, its thematic analysis followed. Mothers who participated in the study articulated an etiological basis of bonding problems attributable to traumatic experiences in their childhood. Understanding occurrences behind parental uncertainty and traumatic experiences is essential among health professionals. Healing from the effects of insecure attachment and trauma in childhood can enable women to establish a firm foundation of their parenting abilities that will change their pain into gain.

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