Frequently Asked Questions

Where can women go for information and assistance in quitting smoking?
Where can Health Care Providers (HCP) and families go for information, diagnosis and services for children suspected of an alcohol related condition?
Where can pregnant and pre-conceptional women go for information on the effects of using alcohol, tobacco and other drugs during pregnancy?
How much alcohol is safe, what type of alcohol is safe and is there a time when alcohol is "safe" during pregnancy?
Are physicians required to report substance use by pregnant women?
What is the punishment for pregnant women who use drugs?
Does Chapter 191.725-191.745 allow practitioners to conduct drug screens on pregnant women or their children?
What services are available for pregnant women who use drugs?
What are the common characteristics seen among infants and children whose mothers used alcohol, tobacco or other drugs while pregnant?
What can I use to teach the young people in my community about the effects of alcohol and drugs on infants?
How can I become involved in the prevention of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome in Missouri?

 

Where can women go for information and assistance in quitting smoking?
MISSOURI TOBACCO QUITLINE - A toll-free, proactive telephone smoking cessation counseling quitline. 1-800-QUITNOW (1-800-784-8669). Any Missourian who uses tobacco and would like assistance with quitting will be provided, without charge, cessation counseling by a trained professional and self-help materials. Missouri physicians can also call for free medical consultation on tobacco dependence treatment, as well as explanation of available quitline counseling services. For additional information, visit: Smoking and Tobacco.

Where can Health Care Providers and families go for evaluation, diagnosis and services for children suspected of having an alcohol related condition?
The University of Missouri Hospital and Clinics in Columbia, Missouri operates a Genetic Clinic. Referrals can be made by calling 800-645-6164. Parents or guardians, health care providers or courts and social service agencies may refer individuals for evaluation services.  Parental or guardian consent is required.

Where can pregnant and pre-conceptional women go for information on the effects of using alcohol, tobacco and other drugs during pregnancy?

The Department of Health and Senior Services maintains a toll-free informational telephone line with educational and referral information regarding alcohol, tobacco and other drug use during pregnancy. The number is 1-800-TEL-LINK (1-800-835-5465).
Another resource is the Organization of Teratology Information Service Specialists (OTIS) a free service that provides information about the effects of exposure to substance or diseases that may influence the development of an unborn baby. Call toll-free 1-866-626-6847.

How much alcohol is safe, what type of alcohol is safe and is there a time when alcohol is "safe" during pregnancy?
There is no safe amount of alcohol, no safe type of alcohol and no safe time for alcohol during pregnancy.

Are health care providers required to report substance use by pregnant women?
In accordance with Chapter 191.725-191.745, RSMo, physicians are not required to report substance use by pregnant women.
If suspected abuse or neglect is reported to the Department of Social Services following the birth of a child, staff of the Children's Division, Department of Social Services will assess the safety of the newborn's environment and parental capacity to care for the newborn. Any health care provider complying with Chapter 191 shall have immunity from civil liability resulting from referrals and reports.

What is the punishment for pregnant women who use drugs?
In 1991, Missouri enacted public health oriented legislation comprising Chapter 191.725-191.745, RSMo. The tone of this legislation views substance abuse during pregnancy as a disease and focuses on getting women into a system of care. Therefore, there is no legal punishment, but rather, treatment for the addiction.

Does Chapter 191.725-191.745 allow practitioners to conduct drug screens on pregnant women or their children?
Chapter 191.725-191.745, RSMo does not address the issue of immunity for practitioners obtaining toxicology tests. Information regarding toxicology testing should be obtained from the practitioner's or institutions legal counsel.

What services are available for pregnant women who use drugs?
The Comprehensive Substance Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation (C STAR) program is a unique approach to substance abuse and addiction treatment. The C STAR model was developed by Missouri's Department of Mental Health and is funded by Missouri's Medicaid program. Substance abuse and addiction affect women differently than men, both physically and psychologically. Single women, pregnant women, and women with children may enter specialized women's C STAR treatment programs. These programs provide a complete continuum of treatment services and housing supports tailored to the unique needs of women and children. Within this treatment environment, women are educated as to parenting skills, their children attend either school or childcare, and family counseling is provided.
Chapter 191.725-191.745, RSMo, mandates that a pregnant woman referred for substance abuse treatment shall be a first priority user of available treatment. The Department of Mental Health, Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse, is to ensure that family-oriented substance abuse treatment is available.
Referral information can be accessed through 800-TEL-LINK (800-835-5465) or the Department of Mental Health Resource Line at 800-575-7480.

What are the common characteristics seen among infants and children whose mothers used alcohol, tobacco or other drugs while pregnant?
Common characteristics seen among infants and children whose mothers used alcohol, tobacco or drugs during pregnancy may include:

What can I use to teach the young people in my community about the effects of alcohol and drugs on infants?
Manikins representing Caucasian and African American infants with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, prenatal drug exposure, and normal characteristics are available at 29 community placement sites statewide for use in educational outreach. For information about using the manikins, contact us.

How can I become involved in the prevention of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome in Missouri?
You can help by supporting the efforts of women who are pregnant or could become pregnant to abstain from alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. Your support can make it easier for a friend or relative to do the best she can for this short time to avoid the impact of these substances on her unborn baby.