Despite the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) recommending that pregnant women avoid marijuana, a study has found that pregnant women are using marijuana at a very scary rate.
Doctors recommend pregnant women to not use the drug because there has been evidence proving it can affect the fetus and interfere with their child’s brain development.
A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in May found that 14% of young pregnant women, ages 12-17, used the drug in the last month. This is compared to 6% of their non-pregnant peers. The study used data from 410,000 women in between the ages of 12 and 44 and was collected by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health between the years of 2002 and 2015.
The author of the study, as well as the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Nora Volkow, said, “Those numbers are very distressing. Teenagers who get pregnant are the ones at greatest risk of having poor [pregnancy] outcomes, and then on top of that, you have the effect of teenage women smoking marijuana while they are pregnant.”
According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, which cited research from earlier this year, marijuana use rates more than doubled in the U.S. between 2001 and 2013.