(HealthDay News) – From 2000–2010 there was a decrease in alcohol abuse, but an increase in drug use, among pregnant women, according to a report published July 25 by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
Researchers from SAMHSA used data from the Treatment Episode Data Set to examine trends in substance abuse among pregnant females aged 15–44 years.
According to the report, from 2000–2010 the proportion of pregnant female substance abuse treatment admissions remained relatively stable (4.4% and 4.8%, respectively). However, the types of substances reported by these treatment admissions changed over time. There was a decrease in the proportion of pregnant admissions reporting alcohol abuse, with or without drug abuse (from 46.6% in 2000 to 34.8% in 2010). During the same period, the percentage reporting drug, but not alcohol, abuse increased from 51.1% to 63.8%. Similar patterns were seen among non-pregnant female admissions aged 15–44 years.
“Any kind of substance use by pregnant women can result in miscarriage, premature birth, or a variety of behavioral and cognitive problems in the children they carry,” Pamela S. Hyde, JD, a SAMHSA administrator, said in a statement. “Pregnant women must have access to prevention, support, and recovery services that meet their specialized needs. These include community programs for both pregnant and postpartum women that can help ensure their full recovery and better lives for them and their children.”