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May 2012Vol. 13 No. 4Children's Services Practice Notes

The March 2012 issue of Practice Notes provides several articles on prescription drug use and the implications of family drug use on child welfare practice. While prescription drugs offer health benefits and increase the quality of life for millions of Americans, many of these legal drugs are misused and abused. The improper use of these medications not only presents harm to the individual, but it also can negatively impact the family unit.

The articles examine the following topics:

  • Child protective services' assessments of prescription drug use in families
  • The UNCOPE—an acronym standing for "used," "neglected," "cut down," "objected," "preoccupied," and "emotional"—screening instrument for substance abuse
  • The effects of specific substances on the ability to parent
  • Preventing and responding to prescription drug overdose and accidental poisoning
  • An introduction to methadone and tips for working with mothers in methadone treatment
  • Foster children and the use psychotropic medication

The issue's takeaway—it is essential that child welfare practitioners assess and, if necessary, address the presence of pharmaceutical drug use in families by working with physicians, mental health and substance abuse professionals, and other experts.

This issue of Practice Notes, 17(1), 2012, produced by the North Carolina Division of Social Services and the Family and Children's Resource Program, is available on the Practice Notes website: