The latest in DrugScope's series of resource books for professionals, The Essential Guide to Problem Substance Use During Pregnancy, is now on sale.This unique text is the go-to reference guide for all practitioners who provide care to women who use drugs or alcohol before, during and after their pregnancy.Drug and alcohol workers, social workers, midwives, nurses, health visitors, GPs and students from all these disciplines will find the guide invaluable.

As well as being a joyful time, becoming a mother can undoubtedly be a difficult experience too.For a woman with drug or alcohol problems, it may also be very frightening.With or without justification, she may be afraid that their substance use will harm her baby's health, that health or substance misuse professionals may be judgemental, or that the authorities may remove her child if her substance use is known, regardless of her parenting capacity.However, the profound changes brought by pregnancy and parenthood can also provide a significant opportunity for positive engagement with services and a determination to meet the challenges of parenthood and overcoming substance use head on.Professionals who work with this client group must be able to respond appropriately to women's needs, to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the baby, mother, her partner and wider family.

The Essential Guide to Problem Substance Use During Pregnancy aims to help address the most common issues faced by practitioners working with women who use drugs or alcohol and who are pregnant.The practical, twelve chapter guide establishes a 'framework for care,' synthesising the latest good practice advice, official guidelines and research knowledge from the UK and abroad.Information and intervention strategies are provided on a vast range of topics including:

- the management of substance use during pregnancy;
- drugs and their effects on the developing baby;
- the signs, symptoms and treatment of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome;
- blood borne viruses and pregnancy;
- appropriate breastfeeding advice for women with substance misuse issues;
- the management of risk and child welfare concerns during pregnancy.

The book also features 11 leaflets and factsheets for use by professionals and service users.

The guide was written by Anne Whittaker, a Nurse Facilitator working for NHS Lothian who specialises in drugs, alcohol and blood borne viruses.Anne is involved in research, training and education, policy development, service improvement, writing good practice guidance and facilitating inter-agency working.In 2003, she wrote a resource book for NHS Lothian on substance use in pregnancy, published by DrugScope as Problem Substance Use in Pregnancy in 2005.This new edition is fully revised and updated with the latest good practice guidance, including the recent clinical guidelines on Pregnancy and complex social factors (CG110), published by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) in September 2010.

The book has already met with positive accolades from professionals in the field.Faye Macrory MBE, a Consultant Midwife with Manchester Specialist Midwifery Service, said, "Anne Whittaker's new book, The Essential Guide to Problem Substance Misuse During Pregnancy, is very timely.It's a comprehensive, up-to-date and practical text and reflects where professionals of all disciplines should be working in partnership.It also provides an excellent framework for good clinical practice and in the development of guidelines and pathways for care.For those new to the field, reading it will be an eye-opening experience."

Macrory continued, "This well-written book is hugely important and a must-read for everyone concerned with both the care of women with substance misuse problems, their children and the well-being of future generations."

DrugScope members can claim a 10 per cent discount off the cover price of £16.95, bringing the cost of the book down to just £15.25, by citing their membership number when ordering the book from HIT.