Prevalence of marijuana use in pregnant women with concurrent opioid use disorder or alcohol use in pregnancy

Page, K., Murray-Krezan, C., Leeman, L. et al. Prevalence of marijuana use in pregnant women with concurrent opioid use disorder or alcohol use in pregnancy. Addict Sci Clin Pract 17, 3 (2022).



A quarter of pregnant women use alcohol, 6.5/1000 deliveries are affected by opioid use disorder (OUD), and the prevalence of cannabis use in pregnant women is increasing. However, marijuana co-exposure in polysubstance-using women is not well described.


The well-characterized ENRICH-1 cohort (n = 251), which focused on the effects of two primary exposures of interest—opioids and alcohol, was used to (1) estimate the prevalence/frequency of marijuana use in those with OUD and/or alcohol use, and (2) examined correlates of marijuana use. Participants were classified into an OUD group (n = 125), Alcohol group (n = 69), and concurrent OUD and Alcohol (OUD + Alcohol) group (n = 57). Self-report and biomarkers ascertained substance use. Multivariable logistic regression identified correlates of marijuana use.


The prevalence of any marijuana use in pregnancy was 43.2%, 52.6%, and 46.4% in the OUD, OUD + Alcohol, and Alcohol groups, respectively. Correspondingly, weekly or daily use was reported by 19.4%, 21.0%, and 24.6% of participants. In the OUD and OUD + Alcohol groups, the proportion of women using marijuana was significantly higher in those taking buprenorphine (45.8% and 58.3%, respectively) compared to women using methadone (37.5% and 42.9%, respectively). Mean maternal age was lower in women who used marijuana in all three groups compared to non-marijuana users. Independent correlates of marijuana use (controlling for group, race/ethnicity, education, and smoking) were maternal age (adjusted Odds Ratio (aOR) per 5-year increment 0.61; (95% CI 0.47, 0.79)), and polysubstance use (aOR 2.02; 95% CI 1.11, 3.67). There was a significant interaction between partnership status and group: among women who were not in a partnership, those in the OUD and OUD + Alcohol groups had lower odds of marijuana use relative to the Alcohol group. For women in the Alcohol group, partnered women had lower odds of marijuana use than un-partnered women (aOR 0.12; 95% CI: 0.02, 0.68).


Results indicate a relatively high prevalence and frequency of marijuana use in pregnant women being treated for OUD and/or women consuming alcohol while pregnant. These results highlight the need for ongoing risk reduction strategies addressing marijuana use for pregnant women receiving OUD treatment and those with alcohol exposure.

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