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Substance abuse during pregnancy: a 5-year follow-up of mothers and children
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Public Health Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5152-7820
2018 (English)In: Drugs: education prevention and policy, ISSN 0968-7637, E-ISSN 1465-3370Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Introduction: The study investigates health and social conditions among pregnant substance abusers and the children that were born from these pregnancies, and analyses outcomes in relation to type of substance abuse.

Methods: Register data concerning 97 pregnant substance abusers and 104 children, at birth and 5 years on, were analysed with descriptive statistics and chi square tests.

Results: The women presented a multitude of problems, including low education, substance abusing partners, and elevated smoking rates. Compared with the population, more children were born prematurely and average birth weight was almost 350 g lower. About 14% were diagnosed as being affected by maternal substance abuse. During follow-up, 5 women died and 88% showed continued substance-related mental and health problems. All children survived and 85% experienced placement in out-of-home care. Purchase of psychotropic drugs and mental health problems were more common among women with alcohol as one drug of preference.

Conclusions: Parenthood did not represent a turning point for pregnant substance abusers. Comprehensive and persistent support is necessary, but in the short-term, efforts should be made to curb excessive smoking rates. The children faced several disadvantages at birth, but a longer follow-up is required to assess the impact of maternal substance abuse properly.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
Keywords [en]
Pregnancy, register data, polydrug use, maternal substance abuse, follow-up
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Research subject
Public Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-153065DOI: 10.1080/09687637.2018.1432568OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-153065DiVA, id: diva2:1183239
Projects
Gravida missbrukare och deras barn
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 2013-1738Available from: 2018-02-16 Created: 2018-02-16 Last updated: 2018-06-08

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Reitan, Therese
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