SAMHSA Reports: The Truth About Pregnant Teens’ Substance Abuse

Due to the number of pregnant teens seeking substance abuse treatment admission, SAMHSA established a Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) to illuminate the variances between pregnant teenagers and other female teens admitted. Nearly 57,000 female teens were admitted to substance abuse treatment between 2007 and 2010. 2,200 of the teens admitted were pregnant. The report details both treatment and prevention programs.
Analysts found that more than half of the pregnant teens reported drug or alcohol use in the month before treatment initiation. One fifth of the women indicated daily use, with marijuana and alcohol listed as the most commonly used substances regardless of pregnancy status.
Teenage pregnancy alone poses a much higher peril for health risks than adult pregnancy. When addiction is mixed in, the chances for pregnancy-related complications, premature delivery and delivering babies with developmental problems increases dramatically.

On average, teenage moms recognize their pregnancies later than adults which contributes to more binge drinking and drug use early in their pregnancies. This can result in pre- and post-natal health problems for both mother and child.
The report determined that prevention and intervention services focused on the risks associated with substance use are the most influential way to solve the problem. Public health programs and campaigns organized to reach teens may also help by showing both direct and indirect results of substance abuse.
Read the report here.

Jaclyn Chelf is a Digital and Social Media Intern at Prichard Communications. She is graduating in June, 2013 from the University of Oregon where she had been studying Journalism, Public Relations and Communication studies. She loves warm weather, the outdoors and her dog.

Updated: February 08 2018