Summary: Substance Abuse In Pregnant Women

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According to the Global Library of Women’s Medicine (n.d.), “Of the 4 million women who become pregnant each year, at least 20% smoke cigarettes, 19% drink alcohol, 20% use legal drugs, and 10% use illicit drugs during their pregnancy.3 Thus, substance use is highly prevalent in pregnant women” (Epidemiology of Substance Abuse). That is 800,000 women who smoke cigarettes, 760,000 women who drink alcohol, 800,000 women who use legal drugs, and 400,000 women who use illicit drugs during their pregnancy. So while the percentages seem small it is evident that the actual number of pregnant women affected by drugs is quite large. The World Health Organizational (2014) states that substance abuse can be defined as a risky use of psychoactive …show more content…
For example many leading medical organizations address this issue with mothers using alcohol and drugs during pregnancy as a health issue. They do not suggest the issue be dealt with through the criminal justice system, but through education and community- based family treatment. Additionally research shows that child welfare and public health groups have stated that they strongly feel that pregnant women who are use drugs and alcohol do not do so because they want to harm their the unborn children. (AlterNet, 2006) . To summarize supporters who disagree with pregnant drug users being drug dealers firmly believe that instead of pregnant women getting jail time for drug and alcohol use and getting charged with child abuse, they believe that these women should be put in treatment centers. “Pregnant women with addictions need better access to health care, not jail time.”, states the huffingtonpost.com (2014). “In fact, if the objective is to improve infant and child health, efforts to overcome poor nutrition, alcohol addiction, lack of adequate health care, physical abuse, and/or homelessness would make for much better investments.” (realitycheck.org, 2012). Indeed, many might believe pregnant drug users aren’t child abusers . However pregnant drug users present a danger to the unborn …show more content…
To illustrate , Pregnant women who use injectable drugs put themselves and their unborn children at risk. They run the risk of themselves and their child getting infected with HIV and/or AIDS. (intelhealth.com) . In addition, drug and alcohol use can have other negative effects on the mother. Drug specific, if a person takes cocaine during pregnancy it can cause seizures, heart problems, and pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs). Other common effects of drug use during pregnancy for the mother include: convulsions or seizures, miscarriage, and preterm labor. A more recognized complication in pregnancy that can be associated with drug use is preeclampsia. It is described as a mother having high blood pressure and showing signs of another organ system being damaged. (emedicinehealth.com, 2014). Drugs can also be damaging to the m other interns of the placenta. Drugs can a woman’s placenta to separate too early. This premature separation can cause a mother to have a massive bleeding also known as

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