Treatment for Alcohol Abuse Drops in Pregnant Women, While Drug Treatment Rises

The percentage of pregnant women in substance abuse treatment programs who were being treated for alcohol abuse decreased between 2000 and 2010, according to a new government report. During the same decade, the percentage of pregnant women in these programs being treated for drug abuse rose.

Overall, the proportion of women of childbearing age who were pregnant when they entered substance abuse treatment remained relatively stable during the decade, at between 4 and 5 percent, Newswise reports.

The percentage of pregnant women who reported alcohol abuse, with or without drug use, dropped from 46.6 percent in 2000, to 34.8 percent in 2010. The percentage of pregnant women reporting drug abuse, but not alcohol abuse, rose from 51.1 percent in 2000, to 63.8 percent in 2010. The findings come from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

“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,” SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde said in a news release. “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.”

A recent study by Australian researchers found most women who drink before becoming pregnant continue consuming alcohol throughout their pregnancy.

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