Carmona Camacho R, López Carpintero N, Barrigón ML, et al. Substance use, mental health and dual disorders on pregnancy: results of prevalence and treatment rates in a developed country. Adicciones. 2021 Mar;0(0):1568. DOI: 10.20882/adicciones.1568.
Smoking and substance use during pregnancy are major preventable causes of mortality and morbidity, having a bidirectional and deleterious relationship with the mental health of the mother and child. As part of the WOMAP (Woman Mental Health and Addictions on Pregnancy) initiative, our study aimed to describe the prevalence of co-occurring mental illness and substance use problems, diagnoses and severity of those considered at risk, and rates of treatment.
A screening of 2,014 pregnant women was done using the AC-OK scale and they were asked about their smoking habits and services use for mental health/substance abuse. Of these, 170 women were considered at risk of co-occurring mental illness and substance use problems (≥ 2 positive responses to the AC-OK-Mental Health subscale, ≥ 1 positive response to the AC-OK-Substance Abuse subscale and/or smoking more than once a month and no use of specialized services) and were assessed with a more extensive battery of measures (Patient Health Questionnaire [PHQ-9], General Anxiety Disorder [GAD-7], Posttraumatic stress disorder [PTSD] Checklist for DSM-5 [PCL-5], Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test [AUDIT], Drug Abuse Screening Test [DAST] and Fagerström).
In the last year, 614 women (30.5%) smoked tobacco (42.5% daily) and 9.8% were positive for both substance use and mental illness per the AC-OK. Only 11.1% of them received specific treatment in the previous three months while another 13.6% were scheduled to attend services in the following month. From the subsample assessed in depth, 62(36.5%) endorsed at least moderate depression, 35(20.6%) endorsed at least moderate anxiety, 32(18.8%) endorsed PTSD on the PCL, and 37 out of 88 alcohol users scored above the threshold in AUDIT (≥ 3).
In conclusion, high prevalence and low treatment rates suggest that effective detection mechanisms should be integrated into usual care, allowing for early interventions.
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