Every 19 minutes a baby is born addicted to opioids, according to a report by Reuters. Even unborn babies are feeling the effect of the widespread opioid addiction epidemic. The number of babies born dependent on drugs has risen from 7.5 percent per 1,000 births to over 5 percent since 2004, according to a study published by JAMA Pediatrics. The study used data acquired from 2004 to 2013.
The staggering numbers show that drug addiction is something that, unfortunately, even women who are expecting children suffer from. There are laws in place to protect the children from women who continue to use drugs when they are pregnant, but in some states they are ignored. If you know an expecting mother with an addiction, please call Legacy Freedom. Our outpatient drug treatment in Wilmington NC will help them to regain their sobriety.
Drug Laws, Pregnant Women, and Addicted Babies
In 2003, the Keeping Children and Families Safe Act was established to ensure that babies born with drugs in their systems continue to receive care and protection after they are released from the hospital. These at-risk newborns are supposed to be protected but are often not reported to Child Protective Services (CPS).
When the legislation was passed, there were 5,000 drug-dependent babies born in the U.S. The number has since doubled and in some cases tripled. In the last ten years, over 130,000 babies were born addicted to drugs. Because of the increase, the mortality rate of infants has increased as well.
Medical professionals are supposed to notify CPS of drug-dependent babies, so that the agency can continue to monitor the baby after he or she has left the hospital. In many cases, the mother has an addiction problem herself and may not be able to care for her child.
Babies born addicted to drugs suffer from Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS), which is a form of drug withdrawal. The symptoms can be just a severe as an adult going through drug withdrawal. Once a baby has been through detox, he or she is usually out of danger, and released from the hospital. But the care should not stop there, even though oftentimes it does.
It’s important to be aware of the signs of opioid abuse in order to recognize this in yourself or a loved one. Legacy Freedom wants to help you become free of your addiction. If you feel like you need help overcoming an addiction to drugs or alcohol, Legacy Freedom can help you. We offer a wide variety of options for drug treatment in Wilmington NC. We want to help you start living the life you deserve. All you have to do is pick up the phone.
Many of these babies slip through the cracks because states don’t require that hospitals report them. In some cases the mother may have used legal drugs, such as prescription drugs like Xanax or other painkillers. Hospital employees may not feel they have to report mothers unless they’re using illegal drugs like heroin.
What many people don’t consider is that addiction is still addiction, whether or not the drug is obtained legally or on the streets. Mothers who are struggling with addiction and taking home a new baby may spiral even deeper into addiction because of the responsibilities of having a child. While the baby may be out of imminent physical danger because he or she has been detoxed, it still doesn’t mean they are not at risk of harm.
Not all babies born drug-dependent are sent home with addicted mothers. There are laws in place to protect them and charge the mothers for harming them. In some cases, child endangerment protection laws have made mothers who are addicted to drugs reluctant to come forward for treatment, which can make their situation worse.
In some states with high drug abuse rates, there are laws in place that can charge a mother with child endangerment before the baby is even born. It is targeted at people who manufacture and sell drugs, putting their unborn children at risk. A woman can be charged even if she does not use drugs and her baby is born healthy if she is involved in a drug ring.
This type of law can be seen as criminalizing addiction, which can make people not seek help for fear of being prosecuted. In the case of an expectant mother, she could also avoid prenatal care in addition to getting help for her addiction, which would put the child in far more danger. If someone you love is suffering with substance abuse problems, please get them professional help. Legacy Freedom offers an alternative approach to drug treatment in Wilmington NC. Call today.
Some people are against these types of laws because they see it as policing a woman’s choices while pregnant. They counter that, if drug use is policed, it's hard to know where it stops. Would a pregnant woman be questioned for using hair dye or eating sushi because those could be harmful to her unborn baby?
Unfortunately, even though the aim of the law is for the protection of a child, they can also be applied in situations where a mother may not have a problem. For instance, she may have taken one muscle relaxer to ease her pregnancy pain, but if it is discovered in her or the baby’s system, she could be charged. It could also happen when a mother is trying to get off of drugs and taking methadone for help her cravings.
While there are varying opinions and ideas on how to handle the issue of drugs and pregnancy, education can be a starting point. When someone is armed with knowledge about drug use and addiction as well as recovery options, she can make better decisions for herself and her unborn child.
Dependable Drug Treatment in Wilmington NC For 2017
An addiction of any kind takes a toll on you and your family and friends. So if someone you love is suffering from an addiction and needs help, call us at Legacy Freedom Treatment Center in Wilmington, NC. We offer personalized treatment programs to meet our patients’ needs. We have many forms of alternative therapies available that you won’t find anywhere else! We can also help people of all ages who are suffering from addiction. Know that Legacy Freedom also offers family support so that you can learn how to help your loved one during treatment. Give us a call today to learn more about the best alcohol rehab and drug treatment in Wilmington NC for 2017.