US study reveals 14% of pregnant teens smoke marijuana

A US government-backed study conducted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse has reported some alarming research results.

Pregnancy news, 18/04/17

Some information and key findings from the study:

  • Over 400,000 females aged 12 to 44 were surveyed between 2002 and 2015 about their drug use.
  • 14% of those aged 12 to 17 who were pregnant said they had or were smoking marijuana.
  • A small percentage of women reported continuing to smoke pot during their final trimester.
  • Of the teenagers who weren’t pregnant, a much smaller 6% reported smoking marijuana.
  • The higher percentage of pregnant teens versus non-pregnant teens smoking is thought to be because those that are more likely to take risks may be more likely to take drugs and have unprotected sex.
  • As the survey relied on self-reporting the statistics may be higher than those reported.

Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse, has said that smoking marijuana during pregnancy can affect the baby’s brain development and may increase their risk of addiction in later life.

Our midwife says:

'The use of legal and illegal drugs in pregnancy is a cause for concern due to the potential harm it can cause to the unborn child and withdrawal symptoms for newborns. It is important that GPs and Health Professionals offer confidential and supportive advice and that these women are offered care before they conceive, so they can reduce and stop taking illegal drugs before, or at least as soon as they know they are pregnant. It is vital, that family members and friends are also supportive. An excellent supportive advice line is available through FRANK who offer friendly and confidential drug advice by phone or email.'

Find out how to Talk to FRANK

Learn more about drugs and medicines in pregnancy

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