Adolescent substance use and unplanned pregnancy: strategies for risk reduction

Obstet Gynecol Clin North Am. 2014 Jun;41(2):191-203. doi: 10.1016/j.ogc.2014.02.011. Epub 2014 Apr 6.


Substance use among adolescents increases the risk of unplanned pregnancies, which then increases the risk of fetal exposure to addictive, teratogenic substances. Specific interventions are necessary to target pregnancy planning and contraception among reproductive-age substance users. Screening for substance use using the CRAFFT is recommended in all health care settings treating adolescent patients. Screening for tobacco and nicotine use is also recommended along with the provision of smoking cessation interventions. Using motivational interviewing style and strategies is recommended to engage adolescents in discussions related to reducing substance use, risky sexual behavior, and probability of unplanned pregnancy or late-detection pregnancy.

Keywords: Adolescents; Contraception; Motivational interviewing; Substance use; Unintended pregnancy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior* / psychology
  • Contraception Behavior / psychology*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy, Unplanned / psychology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Risk Reduction Behavior
  • Risk-Taking
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / epidemiology
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / psychology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / prevention & control*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology
  • United States / epidemiology