Opiate Addiction on the Rise in Pregnant Women

A study published last spring in the Journal of the American Medical Association outlines the startling facts and statistics associated with the growth of opiate addiction in pregnant women and the effects of the addiction on their newborn babies. We knew it before, but this study once again puts in sharp relief the vital importance of seeking treatment – for yourself or your loved one – before another generation is born addicted.

In the words of the authors of the study, Stephen W. Patrick et al, “The widespread availability of prescription opiate medications (have created) a new opiate addiction pathway and a public health burden for maternal and child health.” It’s an arresting statement, but the authors go on to outline some specific and frightening realities.

Every hour a baby is born in the United States with symptoms of withdrawal from opiates — roughly 13,500 babies a year. The condition, known as neonatal abstinence syndrome, can cause seizures, breathing problems, dehydration, difficulty feeding, tremors and irritability. The number of pregnant mothers using opiate drugs jumped fivefold from 2000 to 2009.

The study goes on to discuss treatment protocols for neonatal abstinence syndrome, but we can all agree that the best way to help these babies is to do all that we can to get women suffering from addiction into treatment before they start their families.

Some addicted mothers may be reluctant to seek treatment on their own.  In these cases, an intervention may be necessary.

When you recognize harmful patterns and seek treatment, you can increase your chances of leading a healthier life. Cliffside Malibu is here to support you in your search for an alcohol-free life. We believe you deserve to have a private, comfortable and luxurious environment as you navigate your journey to a sober life. Our center allows you to explore your mental health needs, creates a treatment plan that is unique to you and allows you to discover beneficial coping skills. To learn more about alcohol treatment at Cliffside Malibu, call (855) 403-5641.