|Titre :||"Subutex is safe": Perceptions of risk in using illicit drugs during pregnancy (2012)|
|Auteurs :||A. LEPPO|
|Type de document :||Article : Périodique|
|Dans :||International Journal of Drug Policy (Vol.23, n°5, September 2012)|
|Article en page(s) :||365-373|
|Discipline :||SHS (Sciences humaines et sociales / Human and social sciences)|
Thésaurus TOXIBASEGROSSESSE ; ETUDE QUALITATIVE ; ETHNOGRAPHIE ; BUPRENORPHINE ; PERCEPTION ; FACTEUR DE RISQUE ; ABSTINENCE
Background: The dominant biomedical discourse stresses the physiological risks to the foetus or newborn posed by the prenatal use of illicit drugs. There is also a strong moral incentive for pregnant women to abstain from drugs. Yet few researchers have explored how pregnant, drug-using women themselves perceive the risks involved. The present paper investigates the reasoning by women about risks involved in prenatal drug use. Theoretically, a socio-cultural approach to risk is taken.
Methods: The paper is based on fourteen ethnographic interviews with women who had used illicit drugs during pregnancy (mainly buprenorphine), had recently given birth and had regularly used prenatal services during pregnancy. The interviews were informal, semi-structured and focused on the women's experiences of pregnancy and service use. Each interview lasted about an hour. The interviews were transcribed and inductively analysed using thematic coding. Risk perceptions were identified in the interviewees’ expressions and understanding of fears, dangers, threats and worries.
Results: The women were not primarily concerned about health risks: their greatest fears in connection with the prenatal use of illicit drugs were giving birth to a child with withdrawal symptoms, child protection interventions and child removal, encountering negative attitudes in seeking professional help as well as terminating drug use. The interviewees did not see abstaining from drugs as a risk-free option. On the contrary, the prospect of a drug-free life was filled with fears linked to physical and mental pain and disruptions in significant social bonds. The women made use of biomedical and nonprofessional understandings of risks. The women's friends and acquaintances played a central role as providers of knowledge about risks.
Conclusion: When providing health education to pregnant women with drug problems, professionals should take women's perceptions of risk seriously, treat the women respectfully and engage them in dialogue about the risks involved. Further studies on pregnant women's perceptions of risk in using illicit drugs would be highly valuable.
|Domaine :||Drogues illicites / Illicit drugs|
|Affiliation :||Department of Social Studies, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland|