Substance Use, Violence, & Mental Disorders As Threatening To Pregnancy As Illness

mental disorders | Just Believe Recovery PA

In This Article

Substance Use, Violence, & Mental Disorders As Threatening To Pregnancy As Illness

According to a recent study by the Boston University Medical Center, pregnant women’s mortality rates have been increasing. Some is due to medical reasons, such as hemorrhage and hypertension. But there are other, less expected reasons that have nothing to do with physical illness.

While mental disorders, partner violence, and substance abuse have been found to be exacerbated by pregnancy, the current definition of the U.S. Maternal mortality does not explicitly include these causes.

The study, published in the American Journal of Public Health, reviewed cases of women who died during or within a year of pregnancy in Philadelphia from 2010-2014. Data was gathered from case summaries constructed by the office of the medical examiner. From this data researchers obtained the cause of death, any contributing factors, and known history of health care use.

What they revealed was startling. Near half, or 42 of 85 deaths related to pregnancy were caused by injuries, homicide, or suicide.

Also, the leading cause of death was found to be drug overdose, and substance use was a contributing factor in nearly half of non-overdose fatalities. More than 1/3 non-suicide women had serious mental illness history, and in 15 of 77 non-homicide deaths, partner violence was noted.

And in an eerie case for foreshadowing, in the month before their deaths nearly half the women who died were reported as having an unscheduled hospital visit. Thus, there are probably missed opportunities to intervene in cases where women are having difficulties with pregnancy due to these issues.

Pooja Mehta, M.D., M.S.H.P., assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Boston University School of Medicine:

“Our analysis used a broader framework than traditional studies of death during pregnancy and found that a narrow focus on the medical causes of maternal mortality may be inadequate.”

“Even women who died from medical causes frequently had histories of substance use disorder, serious mental illness or partner violence — hidden potential contributors to maternal mortality.”

Commentary

Generally speaking, public efforts to make pregnancy safer have focused on medical factors, such as blood clots and heart disease. But these findings indicate other approaches are needed to identify pregnant women at risk and get them help before its too late.

~ G. Nathalee Serrels, M.A., Psychology

Signs of Addiction | Just Believe Recovery Pennsylvania

Signs of Addiction

Many individuals begin to use substances out of curiosity, due to peer pressure, or as a misguided attempt to cope with everyday stress or a

Read More »

Just Believe Recovery is a fully licensed, Joint Commission accredited, comprehensive drug and alcohol treatment center located in Carbondale, Pennsylvania

Let's Connect

🔒 Your information is safe & secure

Sidebar Contact

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
How to Stop Smoking Weed | Just Believe Recovery PA
Abused Substances

How to Stop Smoking Weed

Due to broad legalization and approval for medical purposes, marijuana use in the United States is at a record high. At the time of this

Read More »
Women, Drugs, and Prisons | Just Believe Recovery PA
Addiction

Women, Drugs, and Prisons

There has been a rise in the incarceration of women in the United States. In the past quarter-century, there has been an undeniable change for

Read More »
Alcohol Abuse in Young People | Just Believe Recovery PA
Addiction

Early Exposure To Substance Abuse

New research is showing there are environmental factors that can lead to substance abuse and addiction later in life for children. There are factors we

Read More »

We Believe Recovery Is Possible For Everyone.

Our dedicated admissions team is standing by to answer any questions you might have.

You don’t have to do this alone. Call today!