Addiction and Pregnancy: Empowering Recovery through Peer Counseling

Addiction and Pregnancy: Empowering Recovery through Peer Counseling

Addiction and Pregnancy: Empowering Recovery through Peer Counseling

Addiction and Pregnancy: Empowering Recovery through Peer Counseling

Synopsis

Pioneering evidence is presented in this book to support the effectiveness of peer counseling for substance abuse treatment of pregnant women and their families. The authors use the theory and principles of social learning to justify the peer counselor model, known as SISTERS.

Excerpt

It takes about three and one-half hours to get from Albany to East 140th Street in the South Bronx where the Lincoln Hospital Acupuncture clinic is located. The distance is only about 150 miles. It might just as well be 150,000 miles. The trip begins with one of Amtrak's most picturesque, relaxing routes, a ride that follows the eastern shore of the Hudson River. There, boats cruise and large waterfowl land in the marshy areas that separate the track from the water. Soon enough, though, the magic of the river disappears; it is replaced by a crowded, tension-filled ride on the number six subway from Grand Central Station in Manhattan to the Mott Haven section of the Bronx. With each successive station stop, the environment gets dingier and dingier. By the time you reach the destination, Mott Haven, you are one of only a handful of passengers remaining on the train. Needless to say, the first time I went to Mott Haven I was a bit apprehensive. I thought I had arrived in another world.

As I made the four-block walk from the subway station to the dead-end street where the clinic is located, I felt like I was in a foreign country. I saw people of every ethnic persuasion. Meanwhile, I overheard street-corner conversations in Spanish. The street was lined on both sides with once-glorious, but now boarded-up Victorian townhouses; trash and broken glass were everywhere. I saw for the very first time what I correctly assumed to be numerous crack vials strewn all along the sidewalk. Drug transactions were occurring before my eyes across the street from the clinic's front door. I witnessed the exchange of invisible items that moved quickly between hands and pockets in what looked like a well-rehearsed ritual. With my mind's eye, I saw myself wearing my suit and tie, and carrying my briefcase. I was the only Caucasian in the vicinity. I was alone and I was not feeling particularly . . .

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