How Substance Abuse Impact Pregnancy?

drug abuse

Side Effects From Abusing Drugs During Pregnancy 

Abusing drugs while expecting can result in dependency, obsession, withdrawal in the mother and the unborn child, and miscarriage. A study found that abusing drugs can lead to neonatal abstinence syndrome and other birth defects. Up to 33% of pregnant women use psychoactive medications like Xanax. A problem that developed prior to becoming pregnant is frequently treated with this medication. While pregnant, no medicine should be taken without first receiving competent medical advice. The health of the unborn child may be negatively impacted by any drugs taken during pregnancy.

Birth Defects 

Several long-term investigations have shown an association between a mother who abuses drugs during pregnancy and some congenital abnormalities. One connection between abusing drugs during pregnancy and birth surrenders is revealed by the National Birth Defects Prevention Study, which is likely the most extensive investigation of birth defects ever carried out in the United States. Some other birth defects include:

  • the presence of congenital heart defects
  • defects in the neural tube and other serious problems with how the cerebrum, spine, and spinal column grow
  • The disorder known as gastroschisis affects the stomach (an imperfection of the stomach divider, where the digestive organs stick outside of the body through an opening adjacent to the tummy button)

Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS)

Abusing drugs during pregnancy may result in neonatal abstinence syndrome in some babies (NAS). When neonates stop taking particular medications, like narcotics they were exposed to before birth, they may have a range of issues known as neonatal abstinence syndrome or NAS. The following withdrawal signs can start to show up 72 hours after birth:

  • Tremors and Seizures
  • Touchiness, including over-the-top or shrill crying 
  • Rest issues 
  • Hyperactive reflexes 
  • Yawning, stodgy nose, or wheezing 
  • Helpless taking care of and sucking 
  • Frequent heaving 
  • Diarrheas and drying out 
  • Expanded perspiring

The signs that a newborn is developing consciousness and the intensity of the personality are both influenced by a variety of variables. A few factors to consider are the type and quantity of addictive substances the infant was exposed to before birth, and the last time a drug was abused. Moreover, if the child was conceived full-term or preterm, and whether the infant had any prior exposure to other substances.

Longer-term Formative Results Related to Abusing Drugs During Pregnancy

Abusing drugs can leave long-lasting effects on the mother and the child. The long-term effects of abusing drugs even while being pregnant are harmful. It causes exposure, including those with or without NAS, which are little understood. Not all infants born to mothers who used drugs during pregnancy experienced NAS. But it is observed that kids born to mothers who abuse drugs are different from other kids. They show late developments and have the tendency to abuse drugs themselves. Drug detox in pregnancy is recommended to prevent any big loss.

Does Insurance Cover Addiction Treatment For Pregnant Women

Fetal development is adversely affected by drugs other than illegal ones like marijuana, cocaine, and methamphetamine. Many insurance providers like Wellcare Insurance cover full or some part of addiction treatment. It all depends on the severity of the addiction, the duration of treatment, and the insurance plan that you have. 

Bottom Line…

Similar to the epidemic that has affected everyone, drug abuse during pregnancy has increased dramatically. The fight against the drugs requires participation from all medical professionals. Women who abuse drugs during pregnancy can be found and treated more easily than one might think. Pregnant women should be aware of all the harmful effects of abusing drugs while being pregnant. The recommendations from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) are as follows: 

The outcomes for treating pregnant women with narcotic use and narcotic use concerns are improved by early screening, brief intervention (for instance, bringing the patient in for a brief chat, delivering criticism and teaching), and a referral. For full obstetric consideration, the evaluation of substance use should be conducted during the pregnant woman’s first pre-birth appointment in the organization. Screening based on factors like poor adherence to prenatal care or prior pregnancy outcomes can result in cases being missed, which can lead to generalization and embarrassment. Therefore, it is essential to do the extensive screening.

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