How The Opioid Epidemic Is Effecting Babies
The opioid epidemic is not just affecting those that choose to do drugs. This epidemic has been affecting unborn and newborn babies as well.
OB/GYN’s and pediatricians across the US are noticing a rise in health problems of both mothers and babies. In fact, a baby is born that is affected by opioid use every 15 minutes. This syndrome is called NAS, and it has risen over 5-fold in the last 15 years.
In mothers that have opioid addiction problems this major problem affecting newborns is being seen now in over 70% of babies. 7 These babies can have difficulties such as being irritability, trouble with nursing, and sleep-related issues.
Even worse, there are occurrences where babies are overdosing because breastfeeding mothers are using opioids. There are also many occurrences of growth being affected, and stillbirth.
Due to this issue mothers are facing states are starting to look at laws that can help prevent these cases from increasing. There are policymakers who vote for criminalizing the mother’s opioid use and charging them.
While there are other policymakers who argue this would make some mothers shy away from receiving care if they needed it while pregnant. These same policymakers also state that it would make the mothers feel like criminals or bad parents due to their issues, again causing them not to seek treatment.
In all cases, families are destroyed when there is an opioid addiction. Families can lose custody of the child, or parents face the risk of overdose, leaving their children uncared for.
In mothers, all women and people in general opioid use have serious, deadly effects. These can include death from overdose, criminal actions, STDs, infections, and jail time.
The abuse of opioids is currently considered to be a major risk in pregnancy-related deaths. If you or someone you know is currently facing issues with opioids there are many resources available to help you. One resource to start you off is this pamphlet that contains much more information.
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