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Treatment for Cigarette, Alcohol & Drug Use During Pregnancy Dramatically Improves Outcomes for Mom and Baby, Kaiser Permanente Study Shows
Date:6/26/2008

low birth weight and neonatal ventilation were dramatically higher for the 156 untreated substance abusers than the 2,073 women in the Early Start program:

-- Risk of stillbirth was 16.2 times higher for women who were screened but did not accept assessment or treatment than those who received Early Start treatment

-- Risk of placental abruption was 6.8 times higher for women who were screened but did not accept assessment or treatment than those who received treatment

-- Risk of pre-term delivery was 2.1 times higher for women who were screened but did not accept assessment or treatment than those who received treatment

-- Risk of low birth weight (under 5.5 pounds) was 1.8 times higher for women who were screened but did not accept assessment or treatment than those who received treatment

-- Risk of neonatal ventilation was 2.2 times higher for women who were screened but did not accept assessment or treatment than those who received treatment.

The women who went through the Early Start program had the same statistical risks of stillborn, preterm delivery, placental abruption as the control group of women who did not use any cigarettes, alcohol or drugs during their pregnancy.

"The key message here to women who are currently smoking, drinking or using other drugs, or who recently tried to stop, is that it is not too late to seek help when you find out you are pregnant," said Dr. Goler. "The sooner women ask for help, the better the health outcomes will be for themselves, and their babies. My message to all pregnant women, as well as women who are trying to conceive, is to stop all alcohol, cigarette and drug use."

Launched in 1990, Kaiser Permanente's Early Start program integrates obstetric care with substance abuse treatment for pregnant women in three ways: all women are screened by questionnaire for drug, cigarette and alcohol use, and by urine toxicology testing with signed consent; a licensed substance
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SOURCE Kaiser Permanente
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