Characteristics of Pregnant Teen Substance Abuse Treatment Admissions

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-Full report-

Author(s):  Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Published: May 9th, 2013

Report Intro/Brief:
"Teenage pregnancy is a serious public health issue because of the risk for short- and long-term negative consequences for the mother and child. Compared with pregnant adults, pregnant teens are at increased risk for having pregnancy-related complications, premature delivery, and delivering babies with developmental problems. Pre- and postnatal health problems for both mother and child are compounded when the mother uses alcohol or drugs. This is of particular concern for pregnant teens because they tend to recognize their pregnancies later than adult women; pregnant teens are more likely to engage in binge drinking and drug use early in their pregnancies.

  • Between 2007 and 2010, about 57,000 female teen admissions aged 12 to 19 were admitted to substance abuse treatment annually; of these, 4.0 percent (an annual average of about 2,200 admissions) were pregnant
  • Pregnant teen admissions were 3 times more likely than nonpregnant female teen admissions to report receiving public assistance as a primary source of income (15.0 vs. 5.3 percent)
  • Of nonpregnant female teen admissions that were not in the labor force, 74.0 percent reported that they were students, whereas only 44.2 percent of pregnant teen admissions reported school as their reason for not being in the work force
  • More than half of pregnant teen admissions (51.0 percent) reported using drugs or alcohol in the month prior to treatment entry"

-from the "in brief" part of the report