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Substance use during pregnancy: The facts

Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services – 2011

A fact sheet on drug and alcohol use among pregnant women. Presents statistics on substance use by pregnant women and girls in the U.S. Lists the adverse health effects of prenatal substance exposure on newborns. Also lists characteristics of pregnant women who have utilized substance abuse treatment services. Notes that pregnant women are more likely to use alcohol, tobacco, and prescription medications than illicit drugs. Describes effectiveness of screening and brief intervention services, particularly those that also address mental health and intimate partner violence. Explains that among women who abstain during pregnancy, substance use typically resumes within the first 3 months after childbirth. Pre-pregnancy substance abuse is a good indicator of postpartum use, which may put the child at risk.