What is it about?

Using data from the US National Survey on Drug Use and Health, we report the prevalence of seven psychosocial issues that affect the health and wellbeing in pregnant women who did versus did not report past-month illicit substance use. Women who used illicit substance reported significantly higher prevalence of almost all psychosocial issues examined, including past-month cigarette smoking (44.9% vs 9.5%); past-month alcohol use, 36.1% vs 7.9%); serious past-month distress, 23.0% vs 5.0%); no health insurance, 11.7% vs 6.2%); and receipt of food stamps, 45.0% vs 24.0%) and moving 3 + times in the past year (10.6% vs 5.5%).

Featured Image

Why is it important?

The prevalence and co-occurrence of these psychosocial issues highlighted by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have rarely been compared in a national US sample among pregnant women who do and do not report recent illicit substance use. The majority of pregnant women reporting illicit substance use endorsed experiencing ≥ 2 psychosocial issues while the majority of those who did not report illicit substance use did not endorse any.


Pregnant women who use illicit substances experience more psychosocial issues compared to those who do not. Healthcare providers that take a multidisciplinary approach to care that reflects this underlying experience will likely improve initiation and engagement with prenatal care, and ultimately improve health outcomes for both mothers and their babies.

Loren Kock

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Prevalence of psychosocial issues among pregnant women who do and do not use illicit substances., Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, August 2023, American Psychological Association (APA),
DOI: 10.1037/adb0000952.
You can read the full text:



The following have contributed to this page