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Bump seen in substance abuse treatment during pregnancy

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FRIDAY, Aug. 2 (HealthDay News) -- There was a slight rise in the percentage of pregnant women entering substance abuse treatment programs between 2000 and 2010 in the United States. But the number of those entering treatment for alcohol use declined during that time, according to a federal government report.

The admission rates for the women, aged 15 to 44, rose from 4.4 percent in 2000 to 4.8 percent in 2010, the investigators found. At the same time, the number of pregnant women entering treatment for alcohol use (with or without drug use) fell from 46.6 percent to 34.8 percent.

However, the percentage of pregnant women receiving treatment for drug use (without alcohol use) rose from just over 51 percent to nearly 64 percent, according to the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) report.

There were similar trends among non-pregnant women in the same age group, the researchers noted.

"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 Hyde said in an agency 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," she added.

SAMHSA has a Services Grant Program for Residential Treatment for Pregnant and Postpartum Women, Hyde explained, which promotes the availability of substance abuse treatment, prevention and recovery support programs for these low-income women and their young children.

The grant program is specifically focused on meeting the needs of the women, but also improving the health and well-being of their family members and others who are close to them, Hyde pointed out in the news release.

More information

The March of Dimes has more about the dangers of smoking, alcohol and drugs during pregnancy.

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