Table of Contents

HK J Paediatr (New Series)
Vol 13. No. 2, 2008

HK J Paediatr (New Series) 2008;13:99-109

Original Article

Early Intervention Program for Pregnant Heroin Users and Their Young Children: Hong Kong's Experience

P Ip, WT Chan, YT Lee, CB Chow


Objectives: To achieve early identification of pregnant heroin users and their young children and to provide adequate support, modify important risk factors and monitor the welfare of their children. Methodology: Pregnant heroin users were identified during early pregnancy by social workers in a major methadone centre in Kowloon West and referred to a district hospital for early assessment, counselling, management of drug addiction and formulation of child care plan. Their infants and young children were followed up and closely monitored by a paediatrician and staff in a local maternity and child health centre. Results: Fifty-eight heroin users and their families (69 children) were recruited in the Kowloon West District from May 2006 to April 2007, among which 9 (15.5%) underwent successful detoxification and 38 (65.5%) became stable methadone users, which were significantly higher than the 7% successful detoxification rate and 14% stable methadone user rate found in the baseline study before the program. Vaccination compliance of their young children was 94%, which was higher than the 77% compliance rate found in the surveillance study before the program. Conclusions: Modification of risk factors of pregnant heroin abusers and their young children could be achieved by an early intervention program through enhanced work of health care and social service workers.

Keyword : Children; Detoxification; Early Intervention; Heroin abuse; Pregnancy

Abstract in Chinese


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