Struggling with Addiction During Pregnancy
One of the most prominent debates in healthcare today is the high prevalence of substance abuse and addiction among pregnant mothers. It is a topic that has dominated debate both in the legal and healthcare fields as policymakers try to find a solution.
Mothers who are abusing drugs and those already addicted have not received the attention they deserve, so the ongoing debate comes at a very opportune time. Fortunately, there is more shift towards consensus against criminalizing their behavior.
The horror of drug addiction during pregnancy
A female drug addict already suffers a lot of trauma and stigmatization, and when she becomes pregnant, the pressure increases. This leads to further destructive behavior and many mothers recount horrifying experiences they had to undergo during this phase of their lives. An addict is not able to stop despite knowing their behavior is harmful to the life they are carrying.
For the rest of people in society, this is the height of irresponsibility, yet they don’t appreciate that the pregnant mother is sick. For most mothers, pregnancies are unplanned and if they were already using drugs, the situation is bound to get even worse.
Risk of substance abuse/addiction during pregnancy
Research shows that substance abuse during pregnancy has grave health implications both for the mother and infant. This is one of the major reasons why a lot of emphasis is being put on mothers during pregnancy.
For many years, substance abuse during pregnancy has escaped notice, but with advances in medical research, the symptoms are now more identifiable. Available data shows the situation of drug abuse and addiction during pregnancy is getting out of hand.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 5.4 percent of pregnant women aged between 15 and 44 years use illicit drugs: 9.4 percent are regular alcohol users while 15.4 percent are smokers. Opioid abuse and addiction among pregnant women is also increasing.
According to available research, the consequences are grave. Some of the problems associated with drug use and addition among pregnant women include:
- Still birth: Pregnant mothers using tobacco suffer 1.8 to 2.8 times greater risk of stillbirth, and marijuana users suffer 2.3 times greater risk of stillbirth.
- Neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS)
- Low birth weight
- Behavioral problems
- Feeding difficulties from the newbornRespiratory problems
The problem of pregnant mothers who are abusing drugs and those already addicted is a real one. The situation is complicated by the fact that most mothers don’t want to come forward and seek treatment. The ambivalence in policies with regard to how to handle addicted pregnant mothers makes things only worse.
Forgotten Mom has come forward to make things easier for these mothers. This is a support program that seeks to help both the mother and child through rehabilitation and treatment for their addition. Through early diagnosis and constant health monitoring, it becomes easier to handle potential risks that have already been identified. In case there are any legal problems, the organization offers legal support for mothers.
Article by Charlie Brown