Link found between substance use, teen pregnancy



Pregnant adolescents were more likely than their nonpregnant peers to use alcohol and illicit drugs, report Christopher P. Salas-Wright, Ph.D., and coauthors from the School of Social Work at the University of Texas at Austin.

A study of 97,850 female respondents aged 12-17 years who completed the National Survey on Drug Use and Health between 2002 and 2012 found that pregnant teens were significantly more likely to have used alcohol (odds ratio, 1.44; 95% confidence interval, 1.18-1.76), cannabis (OR, 1.79; 95% CI, 1.45-2.20), and other substances in the previous 12 months, the investigators wrote. Pregnant adolescents also were more likely to meet the criteria for substance abuse disorders involving alcohol (OR, 1.65; 95% CI, 1.26-2.17), cannabis (OR, 2.29; 95% CI, 1.72-3.04), and other illicit drugs (OR, 2.84; 95% CI, 1.92-4.19).

“Our results point not only to a relationship between pregnancy and prior substance use, but also suggest that substance use continues for many teens during pregnancy,” Dr. Salas-Wright and his colleagues said in the report.

Read the full article in Addictive Behaviors.

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