In the 1990’s an epidemic of babies born addicted to crack cocaine called attention to the problem of drug use and addiction in pregnant women. Effective drug rehab became more available to pregnant women and seemed to help this trend subside. Now doctors are noticing a new epidemic of babies born addicted to drugs. This time, the babies are being born addicted to their mother’s prescription drugs.
Prescription Drug Use in Mothers
Prescription drug abuse is the latest trend in drug use. Drugs such as Oxycontin, Vicodin and Percocet seem to be the most abused of prescription drugs. Because these types of drugs are more commonly being abused, the percentage of women who misuse prescription drugs during pregnancy increase along with all other parts of the population. In Florida, the number of babies born addicted to drugs increased almost 400% in a period of four years. The problem of prescription-drug addicted newborns was so large in Florida that the State Attorney General has a created a task force to examine all facets of the problem. Doctors struggle to treat these drug-addicted infants who scream and lay stiffly much of the time. Hospital nurseries create a less stimulating environment for these babies by creating a separate nursery that is kept dimmer and much quieter. These babies are given small doses of narcotic pain medication, usually morphine to ease the withdrawal symptoms. After the babies are stable, it usually takes up to six weeks to taper them off of medication before they can go home.
How Can We Solve this Problem?
In order to solve the problem of babies born addicted to prescription drugs, pregnant women must be aware of how their prescription drug use affects their unborn child. If you know of a pregnant woman that is using or abusing prescription drugs, help educate her on how these drugs affect her child. If you are a pregnant woman and fears your prescription drug use is a problem, find help. Drug detox rehab can help remove the drugs from both your system and your baby’s. Effective drug rehab can help you conquer your prescription drug addiction and help your baby to be born healthy. Photo: carstenfonsdal