MAY 2016 TEEN PREGNANCY
Rate of Substance Abuse High Among Pregnant Teens: Study
BY JOIN TOGETHER STAFF
February 18th, 2015/ 2
Almost 60 percent of pregnant teens say they have used one
or more substances in the past year, nearly double the rate of non-pregnant
teens, researchers at the University of Texas at Austin have found.
Use of these substances continues during pregnancy, especially
among younger teens, the study found. More than one-third of all pregnant teens
ages 12 to 14 said they used one or more substances in the previous month, the
Austin American-Statesman reports.
Pregnant teens were most likely to use alcohol (16 percent),
followed by marijuana (14 percent) and other illicit drugs (5 percent). The
findings are published in Addictive Behaviors. The researchers found pregnant
teens were less likely to use drugs or alcohol once they moved into their
second or third trimester.
The study included data from 97,850 teen girls between ages
12 and 17. A total of 810 reported they were pregnant.
“To our knowledge, this is the largest study to date on the
relationship between substance use and teen pregnancy,” study author Christopher
Salas-Wright said in a news release. “Mothers’ substance use during pregnancy
can have important consequences for the health and development of newborn
babies. Despite efforts to prevent substance use among pregnant teens, our
findings suggest that we still have a lot of work to do.”
The study found the risk of substance use was about 50
percent lower among pregnant teens who said they had parental support and
limit-setting, as well as among those who had positive feelings about going to
school. “This suggests that it makes sense to engage both parents and teachers
in efforts to address substance use among pregnant teens,” said study co-author
Michael G. Vaughn.
NATIONAL PREVENTION WEEK MAY
15 - 21
National Prevention Week is an annual health observance
dedicated to increasing public awareness of, and action around, mental and/or
substance use disorders.
The overall theme for 2016 is “Strong As One. Stronger
Explore the National Prevention Week website to learn more
about how you can get involved, from planning a community event to
participating in the “I Choose” Project.
National Prevention Week is held each year during the third
week of May, near the start of summer. Summer is a season filled with celebrations
and recreational activities where substance use and abuse can happen, such as
graduation parties, proms, weddings, sporting events, and outdoor activities.
National Prevention Week is timed to allow schools to take part in a
prevention-themed event before the school year ends, raising awareness in
students of all ages. According to SAMHSA's National Survey on Drug Use and
Health (2004), percentages of marijuana, cigarette, and alcohol initiates among
youth increase between spring (April and May) and summer (June and July), and
the timing of National Prevention Week helps to educate young people and their
families at this crucial time of year.