New resource: Guide to accurate and compassionate communications about drug and alcohol use during pregnancy

The stakes for how we talk about pregnancy and substance use are incredibly high.

Stigmatizing language perpetuates harmful narratives that keep people from getting the treatment and support they need for themselves and their families. Racist and sexist narratives about pregnant people who use substances and their children contributes to the disproportionate criminalization and separation of Black and Indigenous families by child welfare services. Those injustices reverberate from state legislatures to doctors’ offices to the nightly news.

We have a responsibility to do better, using an approach that respects people’s journeys and elevates effective solutions.

The Bixby Center convened experts to create a new resource that offers guidance for communication that promotes health and well-being, is grounded in evidence, and tells stories of pregnant people who use drugs and alcohol with compassion, humility and accuracy. There are two versions of the resource: