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Opiates and expectant mothers: What to know

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The rising number of newborns who are addicted to opiates or show withdrawal symptoms in the US has become so common place that it begs the question, where are parents going wrong? Research studies have shown that mothers who use drugs in their teenage years put their children at a far greater risk of becoming drug abusers when they grow up. This could be a part of the reason why hospitals all across the US have reported a sharp increase in the rate of premature births and infant deaths. It is reported that the number of infants born addicted to opiates in the US has tripled over the last decade despite the attempts by various organizations to spread awareness on the matter. So who deserves to get blamed for the disturbing statistics that state there are about 13,500 babies born with withdrawal symptoms every hour? Sure we would all love to put the blame squarely on the mothers but the truth is they are not the only ones to be blamed. With many websites that offer strong prescription dugs continuing to crop up on a daily basis, the likelihood for the number of addicts to these drugs continues to grow.
A recently published study went on to further show that the number of mothers giving birth to infants suffering from withdrawal symptoms was higher in low income families as compared to others. The easy availability of these drugs could perhaps be one of the key factors that have fueled this problem to its current magnitude. People need to be aware of the fact that getting a ‘drug connection’ nowadays is much easier than it was ten or so years ago. You are able to find a dealer with a wide array of drugs from illicit narcotics to over the counter prescription drugs. A key point to note is that not all mothers who use these drugs in their younger years pass on the side effects to their children during birth. A lot of these issues are related to the genetics of the individual. It is due to this fact that doctors have warned of the dangers related to drug abuse since the consequences in every individual tend to differ. Whereas your child may not be born with withdrawal symptoms, they may develop a high tolerance to other drugs such as anesthesia and other medications down the line. This could in turn bring a number of complications in the course of their lives since medical procedures rely heavily on drugs for pain relief.
Some of the most pronounced symptoms by infants born of mothers addicted to different opiates include respiratory problems and low birth weights. The likelihood of stillbirths is also increased since some of the infants may suffer severe withdrawal symptoms after their birth. Doctors recommend that expectant mothers who have been abusing opiates from the onset of their pregnancies should not immediately quit as the chances of harming the baby are considerably increased. These mothers are urged to get into methadone treatment programs where they can be eased into being clean so that their baby’s chance of survival is increased.
 
 

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