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 pregnancy 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 binge 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 to help prevent these harmful effects.
What Local Agencies Can Do:
- 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.
- 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.
- Use the resources below to tell families where they can turn for help.
- Start Your Recovery — tools to help individuals take steps toward a healthy relationship with drugs/alcohol; customizable for family/friends and health professionals wanting to encourage and support
- Drinking and Your Pregnancy Info Page and print brochure (NIAAA; 4th grade reading level)
- Screen Your Alcohol Intake — confidential self-assessment of alcohol consumption
- Drugs, Alcohol & Smoking info for teens at girlshealth.gov (USDHHS)
- California Smoker’s Helpline: 1-800-NO-BUTTS
- Quitting E-Cigarettes Fact Sheet
- E-Liquid and Children Fact Sheet
- Secondhand E-Cigarette Aerosol and Children Fact Sheet
- Free Rack Cards for Parents of Kids aged 0-5 and Pregnant Women plus various flyers
- No Butts, a free mobile app for iPhone to help smokers quit
- Free Services for Pregnant Smokers – including phone counseling, self-help materials, and incentives
- Free phone support and subscription quitting aids for Medi-Cal members
- E-cigarettes and Pregnancy and Pregnant or Planning to Have a Baby? plus 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) (CDC)
- Marijuana and Pregnancy in English and Spanish (Alameda Co. Health Dept.)
- Directories for Substance Use Disorder Services: non-emergency referrals & information (CA Dept of Health Care Services)
Phone: 1-800-879-2772 or 1-916-327-3728
- Know Your Risks of Opioid Abuse
- NEW! Read about Opioid Abuse, signs of addiction, and what to do if you or someone you know is addicted from the American Society of Anesthesiologists.
- Treatment Referral Helpline (SAMSHA):
1-800-662-HELP (4357) (English & Español)
- Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator is SAMSHA’s online, searchable directory
- Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)
- NEW! There are also services available for family members and friends of substance users at Al-Anon and Alateen
- Narcotics Anonymous in Northern CA and Southern CA
Information for Professionals:
- Provider Toolkits: Child Health Providers Helping Family Members Quit Tobacco Use and Smoking, Nicotine and the Brain; both include webinar recording & slide deck, patient fact sheets (CA Smokers’ Helpline)
- CEASE California – the Clinical Effort Against Secondhand Smoke Exposure: free online training for pediatric professionals to help parents stop smoking, including free nicotine patches (First 5)
- Substance Use Prevention Screening, Education, and Referral Resource Guide for Local WIC Agencies (USDA/FNS, updated 2017)
- Free Web-Based Referral Service for Evidence-Based Tobacco Cessation (CA Smokers’ Helpline)
- Marijuana Use During Pregnancy and Lactation (ACOG Committee Opinion)
- Smoking and Reproduction Fact Sheet (CDC)
- NEW! Treating Maternal Opioid Addiction with Buprenorphine – webinar recording (CA Health Care Foundation)
- National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (NOFAS)
HEALTHY FAMILIES...STRONG COMMUNITIES...BRIGHT FUTURES!
CALIFORNIA WIC ASSOCIATION | 3960 INDUSTRIAL BLVD, SUITE 500 WEST SACRAMENTO, CA 95691 | PHONE: 916-572-0700