Treatment outcomes among pregnant women with cannabis use disorder

Addict Behav. 2023 Sep:144:107723. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2023.107723. Epub 2023 Apr 17.


Cannabis use disorder (CUD) among pregnant women is on the rise in the United States. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have recommended against the use of cannabis during pregnancy and breastfeeding. However, limited research exists on CUD treatment in this vulnerable population. The purpose of this study was to examine factors that influence CUD treatment completion in pregnant women. Data from the 2010-2019 Treatment Episode Data Set-Discharges (TEDS-D) were used (n = 7,319 pregnant women who reported CUD and had no prior treatment history). Descriptive statistics, logistic regression, and classification tree analyses were conducted to assess treatment outcomes. Only 30.3% of the sample completed CUD treatment. Length of stay between 4 and 12 months was associated with a higher likelihood of CUD treatment completion. The odds of treatment completion were higher if the referral source was alcohol/drug use care provider (AOR = 1.60, 95% CI [1.01, 2.54]), other community referral (AOR = 1.65, 95% CI [1.38, 1.97]), and the court/criminal justice (AOR = 2.29, 95% CI [1.92, 2.72]) relative to being referred by individual/self. A relatively high proportion of CUD treatment completion (52%) was observed among pregnant women who had > 1 month of CUD treatment and were referred to the treatment program by the criminal justice system. For pregnant women, referrals from the justice system, community, and healthcare providers can increase the likelihood of successful CUD treatment outcomes. Developing targeted CUD treatments for pregnant populations is crucial due to increasing CUD rates, cannabis accessibility, and potency.

Keywords: Cannabis use disorder; Classification trees; Criminal justice system; Length of stay; Marijuana; Pregnancy; TEDS-D data; Treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Cannabis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Marijuana Abuse* / epidemiology
  • Marijuana Abuse* / therapy
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnant Women
  • Substance-Related Disorders* / epidemiology
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United States / epidemiology