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Clin Perinatol. 1991 Mar;18(1):125-38.

Substance use by pregnant adolescents.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, University of Wisconsin, Medical School, Madison.


Alcohol and other drug use by adolescents and adolescent pregnancy are both considered to be major problems in the United States. The risk-taking behaviors of early sexual activity and substance use are associated and are part of a larger problem behavior constellation. Although substance use by adolescents and adolescent pregnancy have both been well documented and studied, substance use by pregnant adolescents is just beginning to be studied systemically. Current studies show significant substance use both by self-report and objective testing among pregnant adolescents, with self-report alone underestimating use. Early risk profiles show several significant risk factors for alcohol and drug use by pregnant adolescents. Future directions for work with substance abuse with pregnant adolescents include changes in practice behavior by physicians and other health providers, and family education and support regarding sexuality and substance use. Further research is needed to determine prevalence of substance use among pregnant adolescents, how better screening and early intervention can be implemented, and the long-term effects of substance use on the adolescent and her baby.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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