Person Smoking Cigarette

With so many reports talking about the potential health risks associated with smoking and drinking, it hard to believe that most women are not trying to be safe. According to a report by scientists at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), pregnant women are resorting to alcohol consumption and smoking, despite the health concerns surrounding them.

A study was conducted among women aged between 15 and 44 spanning through various countries. Though there were regional differences noted, it was seen that a considerable proportion of women smoked, consumed alcohol and even succumbed to drug abuse during pregnancy.

“When pregnant women use alcohol, tobacco, or illicit substances they are risking health problems for themselves and poor birth outcomes for their babies. Pregnant women of different races and ethnicities may have diverse patterns of substance abuse. It is essential that we use the findings from this report to develop better ways of getting this key message out to every segment of our community so that no woman or child is endangered by substance use and abuse,” commented SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde.

The scientists have also designed some programs to help pregnant women give up their dependencies on alcohol, cigarette or drugs. According to the scientists, combating these habits before stepping into conception could be a good alternative. This is precisely because prenatal exposure to alcohol, drugs or smoke could affect the unborn child and lead to long-term complications.

Some of the initiatives developed by the team include the Parent-Child Assistance Program, Project CHOICES and Screening and Brief Intervention (SBI).