JUNE: Alcohol and Substance Use

Perinatal alcohol and substance use damages the physical, mental, and social well-being of women and hurts children, families, and communities. Of all the substances of abuse (including cocaine, heroin and marijuana), alcohol produces by far the most serious neurobehavioral effects in the fetus, known as Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). Smoking not only poses risk for pregancy complications but also for low birth weight, asthma, and sudden death (SIDS) in infants.

Among California low-income women included in the 2013-14 Maternal and Infant Health Assessment (MIHA) Survey, up to 30% reported smoking before, during, or after pregnancy, up to 30% reported bing-drinking before getting pregnant, and up to 13% reported drinking during the third trimester. While those rates are stable or down from previous years, and many women reduced their substance use upon learning they were pregnant, it’s no surprise that a top state priority is to prevent and decrease perinatal substance use. WIC Can Help! provide information and referral fo help prevent these harmful effects.

What Local Agencies Can Do:

  1. Ensure that women know of the dangers of alcohol and substance use, including smoking, especially during pregnancy. Refer to the Substance Use Prevention Screening, Education, and Referral Resource Guide for Local WIC Agencies updated September 2017.
  2. Remind participants that, under the Affordable Care Act, health insurance plans under Covered California cover mental health and substance use disorder services, including screening for tobacco use and covering (without cost-sharing) at least two tobacco cessation attempts per year for those who use tobacco products.
  3. Use the resources below to tell families where they can turn for help.

Click here to find crisis intervention contact information by county.

Participant/Consumer Information:
Treatment Referral/Locators:
Information for Professionals:

HEALTHY FAMILIES...STRONG COMMUNITIES...BRIGHT FUTURES!

CALIFORNIA WIC ASSOCIATION | 3120 FREEBOARD DR. #101 WEST SACRAMENTO, CA 95691 | PHONE: 916-572-0700