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This article has been peer reviewed. It was published in JNDSS (Journal of Nursing Doctoral Students Scholarship)

Volume 3, September 2015, Pages 21-28.

The published version is available at Article. Copyright © Upenn Nursing


As the number of addicted maternal-infant dyads increases, so does the need for nursing to expand its understanding of the addiction process and the evidencebased interventions that best serve mothers and infants. Nursing attitudes toward the opioid-addicted mother and infant dyad are influenced by knowledge deficits and communication difficulties. Care required encompasses medical, legal, social, and economic perspectives. Professionals and society at large have disagreements regarding whether to approach the phenomenon from a punitive or supportive strategy. Facilities to care for the mother-infant dyad with addiction are limited. Increasing knowledge has great potential for active understanding and ability to impact these vulnerable patients. Policies must be carefully considered and nuanced. Opportunities for research are myriad. Nurses are well positioned to intervene and create positive outcomes for mother-infant dyads experiencing opioid addiction.