The Effects of Substance Abuse on Pregnant Addicts

Substance abuse is a serious issue that a number of people struggle with on a daily basis, when finding themselves shackled by addiction. However, this can be quite debilitating for some, and can be even more debilitating for up and coming mothers. For no matter whether it be drugs, alcohol, or both they no longer have the potential to harm only themselves, but their babies as well. That’s why it is so important that women who are pregnant and challenged by addiction get both necessary and needed help early on. It is then that they can save not only their own lives, but the lives of their children. In turn, a number of health issues can arise while the fetus is still in the womb (if the mother is still using) that can impact the health of the infant and/or his/her development.

One effect that substance abuse can have on both mother and baby is fetal alcohol syndrome. This takes place when one is addicted to alcohol, and is therefore “the physical and mental damage in a child due to alcohol exposure while in the womb.” Consequently this can be quite difficult for those who are born with such because their actions and/or decisions were limited while in the womb. As a result, they are oftentimes not responsible for the developmental defects, and behavioral issues that they may experience in the midst of growing up. In turn, this can cause a plethora of problems such as; learning disabilities, low birth weight, failure to thrive, aggression, irritability, anxiety, malnutrition, etc. Listed above are only a few of the symptoms, for there are several more. 

In conclusion, no matter what substance that the pregnant mother is struggling with, it is important that she gets help early on before her addiction worsens. It is only through getting the treatment she needs that she can ensure the safety of herself, and her baby, so that they might be able to resume a healthy life. If help isn’t sought out her baby can become very sick, which may even result in death depending on the amount of alcohol/drugs consumed. Pregnant women are not alone in their addiction, and even if they may fear what others may think of them for abusing substance(s) while carrying a child, they can receive treatment, help, counseling/guidance, etc. via medical expertise without fear of being judged.

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