Reproductive Health Needs among Substance Use Disorder Treatment Clients

Mishka Terplan, Maayan Lawental, Melanie Bryant Connah, Caitlin Eileen Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Individuals with substance use disorders (SUDs) have unique reproductive health needs. The aim of this study was to evaluate these needs and assess the acceptability of family planning service delivery of SUD treatment clients. Methods: Reproductive health needs of drug treatment clients were assessed using a cross-sectional anonymous survey in 4 treatment sites in Baltimore City, MD. Surveys were distributed by staff. Contraceptives assessed included sterilization, intrauterine devices, implants, injections, pills, patches, rings, condoms, spermicide, withdrawal, and the rhythm method. Results are stratified by sex and between those using and not using highly effective contraceptive methods. Results: A total of 115 women and 95 men completed the survey (80% younger than 50 years), with 39% of women and 54% of men reporting using condoms, but only 24% of women and 26% of men reporting consistent use. All other methods were used by less than 12% of the sample. Only 20% of sexually active women reported using a highly reliable form of contraception and only 53% were using any form of contraception at all. Contraceptive use correlated inversely with age, but did not correlate with having had sexually transmitted infection testing or other preventive health services. Although more than 90% of participants had access to health care services in the past 3 years, 25% of women and 33% of men reported difficulty accessing health care providers. The majority of respondents said they would likely use family planning services if available at their SUD treatment (83% of women and 58% of men). Conclusions: Men and women in SUD treatment have unmet reproductive health needs. As SUD treatment moves toward greater integration, the programmatic inclusion of family planning services should be considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-25
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Addiction Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 American Society of Addiction Medicine.


  • contraception
  • reproductive health
  • substance use disorder treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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