The report also showed that the rate of pregnant black women who took illicit drugs within the past 30 days was significantly higher, with 7.7% compared with 4.4% of white pregnant women, and 3.1% of Hispanic pregnant women.
Alcohol use within the last 30 days is comparable amongst pregnant black and white women - 12.8% and 12.2 % respectively - yet these levels were considerably higher than the rate among pregnant Hispanic women (7.4%). Pregnant Hispanic women between the ages of 15 to 44 years were overall less likely to drink alcohol and smoke cigarettes in comparison with those who were black or white.
SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde commented:
"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."
To address problems of substance abuse amongst pregnant women, the SAMHSA's Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Center for Excellence sponsors a number of state-of-the-art programs that implement evidence-based interventions that have already assisted pregnant women in leading healthier life-styles and improving their children's health. The programs include:
- Screening and Brief Intervention (SBI) - Helps identify and provide assistance to those who need treatment. It uses a simple written assessment of alcohol use and a 10-15 minute intervention with pregnant women who report drinking.
- Project CHOICES - Caters for women who are at risk of having an alcohol-exposed pregnancy before they become pregnant by providing information and help.
- Parent-Child Assistance Program (P-CAP) - The program uses an intensive paraprofessional home visitation model to reduce risk behaviors in women with substance abuse problems over a three-year period.