Below: Prevalence (per 10,000) on a natural log scale and Loess trend curves with 95% confidence interval for (A) live births affected by alcohol and drugs and neonatal drug withdrawal syndrome, and (B) maternal substance abuse at liveborn delivery: United States, 1999–2008.
From 1999 to 2008, prevalence increased for narcotic- and hallucinogen-affected live births and neonatal drug withdrawal syndrome but decreased for alcohol- and cocaine-affected live births. Maternal substance abuse at delivery showed similar trends, but prevalence of alcohol abuse remained relatively stable. Substance-affected live births required longer hospital stays and higher medical expenses, mostly billable to Medicaid.
The findings highlight the urgent need for behavioral intervention and early treatment for substance-abusing pregnant women to reduce the number of substance-affected live births.
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