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SAMHSA News - July/August 2005, Volume 13, Number 4

New Report Spotlights Substance Use Among Pregnant Women

A new report from SAMHSA shows that, despite many warnings, over 4 percent of pregnant women age 15 to 44 reported illicit drug use during the past month, 4 percent engaged in binge drinking, and 18 percent smoked cigarettes. The report also shows a distinct age discrepancy in this substance use: Pregnant women age 15 to 25 were more likely to use illicit drugs than pregnant women age 26 to 44.

"We know that substance use by pregnant women is a leading cause of mental, physical, and psychological problems in infants and children." - Charles G. Curie, M.A., A.C.S.W., SAMHSA Administrator

The report, based on combined 2002 and 2003 data from SAMHSA's National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), shows that 4.3 percent of pregnant women age 15 to 44 reported using an illicit drug during the past month, compared with 10.4 percent of nonpregnant women in that age group (see chart below). NSDUH defines illicit drug use as the use of marijuana/hashish, cocaine (including crack), inhalants, hallucinogens, heroin, or prescription-type drugs used nonmedically.

Among pregnant women in the 15-to-44 age group, 9.8 percent reported drinking alcohol during the past month, 4.1 percent reported binge alcohol use, and less than 1 percent reported heavy alcohol use. NSDUH defines binge alcohol use as drinking five or more drinks on the same occasion on at least 1 day in the past 30 days. Heavy alcohol use is defined as drinking five or more drinks on the same occasion on each of 5 or more days in the past 30 days.

In the 15-to-44 age group, the rates of past-month illicit drug, alcohol, and cigarette use were lower among pregnant women than among nonpregnant women who were recent mothers and nonpregnant women who were not recent mothers. Among nonpregnant women, substance use rates were lower for recent mothers than for women who were not recent mothers. This suggests that women in this age group increased their substance use during the year after giving birth, although not to the level of nonpregnant women who were not recent mothers.

cover of The NSDUH Report - Substance Use During Pregnancy: 2002 and 2003 Update - click to view reportFor a copy of this report, Substance Use During Pregnancy: 2002 and 2003 Update, contact SAMHSA's National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information at P.O. Box 2345, Rockville, MD 20847-2345. Telephone: 1 (800) 729-6686 (English and Spanish) or 1 (800) 487-4889 (TDD). The report is also available on the SAMHSA Web site at www.oas.samhsa.gov/
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Percentages of Women Age 15 to 44 Who Reported Past-Month Substance Use, by Pregnancy and Recent Motherhood Status**: 2002 and 2003

chart titled "Percentages of Women Age 15 to 44 Who Reported Past-Month Substance Use, by Pregnancy and Recent Motherhood Status: 2002 and 2003" - Click to view text only versiond

Source: SAMHSA National Survey on Drug Use and Health, Office of Applied Studies, 2002 and 2003.

**"Pregnant women" were those women age 15 to 44 who were currently pregnant at the time of the survey. "Nonpregnant, recent mothers" were defined as women age 15 to 44 who were not currently pregnant and who gave birth during the prior year. "Nonpregnant, not recent mothers" were defined as women age 15 to 44 who were not currently pregnant and who did not have a biological child under age 1 in the household.

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Inside This Issue

Medicare Modernization Brings Big Changes
Part 1
Part 2

From the Administrator: Maximizing the Benefit of Medicare

Medicare Resources

Mental Health Action Agenda Released

Youth Voices: Speaking Out About Recovery

Recovery Month

Substance Use Among Pregnant Women

Raising Awareness About Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

Voice Awards

Measuring Outcomes To Improve Services

SAMHSA Awards First 2005 Grants

Adult Drivers Drinking, Using Drugs

Boulder, Boston Areas Report Most Marijuana Use

DAWN Data Released on Drug Deaths

SAMHSA News

SAMHSA News - July/August 2005, Volume 13, Number 4




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