Illicit drug use among women with children in the United States: 2002-2003.
Given research that shows youth exposed to maternal addiction have increased rates of cognitive, socioemotional, and behavioral problems, we examined the prevalence and correlates of past year illicit drug abuse or dependence among women with children younger than 18 years of age in the home to identify maternal risk factors.Data were from the 2002 and 2003 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, a nationally representative sample of the U.S. civilian population. The current analysis utilized a subsample of women (N=19,300) who reported having children younger than 18 years in the home. Past year abuse or dependence on cocaine, heroin, marijuana, stimulants, and hallucinogens as well as nonmedical use of prescription medications were assessed.The prevalence of illicit drug abuse or dependence was 1.9%. Mothers reporting drug abuse or dependence had increased odds of being unmarried, controlling for other demographics. They also were more likely to report stress, poorer health status, and meet the criteria for serious mental illness (SMI).Prevention and intervention strategies should focus on developing and testing methods to screen for both risk factors associated with maternal drug abuse and actual substance abuse in primary and emergency care settings to reduce youth exposure and improve child developmental outcomes.
Simmons, LA; Havens, JR; Whiting, JB; Holz, JL; Bada, H
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