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Substance Abuse Among Adolescent Mothers

young parents meet for coffee

Substance abuse among adolescents is a persistent problem in the US, and often leads to life-changing consequences.  For teenage girls who experience underage pregnancy, the stress and unique challenges of adolescent motherhood can contribute to substance abuse issues.  Studies show that adolescent mothers are more likely to have been using drugs and alcohol before their pregnancies than other teen girls, and many continue to use substances throughout their pregnancies. Unfortunately, this combination often creates additional mental health issues, and can lead to poor outcomes for the infant if there is no behavioral intervention for the mother.

Increased Risk of Complications

Drug and alcohol use during pregnancy often results in serious complications and health risks for the unborn baby, including a heightened risk of miscarriage and stillbirth.  For those teen mothers that were using drugs and alcohol prior to pregnancy, but choose to abstain during pregnancy, research shows that most will return to substance abuse within six months of birth.  Adolescence is an especially risky time to abuse substances, as an addiction will make the transition to adulthood fraught with obstacles and volatility. When you consider the added stress of caring for a small child, substance abuse as an adolescent mother seems to be the ultimate recipe for disaster.

It’s Never Too Early to Evaluate Your Relationship with Substances

Along with the observation that teen mothers are more likely to use drugs and alcohol than their childless counterparts, research also points to deteriorating mental health for adolescent moms that abuse substances.  This combination has been linked to low self-esteem, depression, and poor academic performance. Adolescent mothers are also more likely to have experienced neglect or abuse in their childhood, which may also contribute to addiction later in life.  Substance use during and after pregnancy in the teenage years is often followed by addiction in adulthood. By finding the right support as soon as possible, adolescent mothers with addictions can prevent a lifetime battle with substance abuse, and ensure a promising future for their child.  

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, now is the time to reach out for help.  At Arbor Behavioral Healthcare, you will meet knowledgeable, compassionate professionals that understand addiction in all its forms.  The Arbor uses an integrative and holistic approach to treat addiction and mental health issues. No treatment is one-size-fits-all, and at The Arbor you will have a team of experts prepared to create your customized treatment plan.  We offer care for your mind, body, and spirit, so that you can heal from the inside out and look forward to a lifetime of sobriety and wellness. If you are ready to take the first step in your recovery, please call us at 844-413-2690.