TUESDAY, June 29 (HealthDay News) --Among pregnant teens admitted for substance abuse treatment, the proportion treated for methamphetamine abuse more than quadrupled -- from 4.3% to 18.8% -- between 1992 and 2007, while admission rates for marijuana abuse more than doubled, from 19.3% to 45.9%, a new government study shows.
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During that same time, admission rates for alcohol abuse dropped from 44.1% to 20.3% of all pregnant teen admissions, according to the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. That means that marijuana is now the primary cause of admission to substance abuse treatment among pregnant teens.
The study also found that the overall proportion of substance abuse admissions for pregnant teens remained relatively steady -- 4.7% in 1992 and 4% in 2007 -- but there were notable changes in admission rates among certain ethnic and racial groups.
The proportion of whites admitted for treatment decreased from 54.5% in 1992 to 50.3% in 2007, the proportion of blacks admitted decreased from 24% to 14.7%, while the proportion of Hispanics admitted increased from 15.7% to 21.4%.
In both 1992 and 2007, almost one in six pregnant teens admitted for substance abuse treatment had at least two prior treatment admissions (15.6% and 15.7%, respectively).
"Treatment is essential in assisting young women to address their substance use problems before giving birth to a child, especially because these substances may seriously compromise a child's physical, cognitive and emotional development," SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde said in an agency news release. "These findings will help develop better prevention and treatment programs for young women and potentially free many from the grip of this enormous public health problem."
The data used in the study is from the 1992 to 2007 Treatment Episode Data Set, a nationwide reporting system of substance abuse centers.
-- Robert Preidt
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SOURCE: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, news release, June 28, 2010