- Gabor Maté
Perinatal substance use and abuse:
Substance abuse in the perinatal period is a problem which crosses all socio-economic levels and is intrinsically linked with other societal factors, including poverty, racism, sexism, and economic and political power. The effects of abuse are not limited just to the mother—substance abuse affects the infant, as well.
Early emphasis in perinatal care was on the consequences of illicit drug use, alcohol, and tobacco during pregnancy. Over the past decade, there has been a significant increase in the use of opioids during pregnancy. Between 2000 and 2009, for example, antepartum maternal opioid use increased from 1.19 to 5.63 per 1000 hospital births per year. In addition, the incidence of neonatal abstinence syndrome diagnosed before newborn discharge increased from 1.20 to 3.39 per 1000 hospital births per year. The increase in opioid use underscores the importance of the emergence of prescription drug use and abuse during pregnancy.
Did you know?
An average of 8.5% of pregnant women aged 15 to 44 reported alcohol use during pregnancy, 2.7% reported binge drinking, and 0.3% reported heavy drinking in 2011 and 2012. (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)