Substance Abuse in Pregnant Women

592 Words3 Pages
Substance Abuse in Pregnant Women While pregnant, it is important that a woman takes care of her body not only for herself but for her unborn child. While in the womb, a fetus grows and develops from the nourishment from the mother via the placenta. However, along with nutrients, any toxins in the mother’s system may be delivered to the fetus. These toxins often cause damages to the development of organs. Substance abuse among women while pregnant is happening more frequently than it should. A good way to help educate young women about the danger of substance abuse while pregnant is to educate them while they are young. A program at high schools could be developed to show young women the effects of children that were born to a mother that abused drugs or alcohol. Also, a lesson on pregnancy, such as informing young women the importance of pre natal health care, and also the do’s and don’ts of pregnancy. Drug abuse is a major social and medical problem in the United States. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, or NIDA nine million women in the United States are substance abusers. Three million use prescription drugs illicitly. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecology, or ACOG, reports that 1 in 10 babies are born to mothers who abuse drugs during pregnancy. Substance abuse can have devastating effects on both the mother and her unborn child (Effects of drug abuse on pregnant women). Currently there are no states that hold prenatal substance abuse as a criminal act of child abuse and neglect, but many have expanded their civil child warfare requirement to include substance abuse during pregnancy as grounds for terminating parental rights in neglect (American Pregnancy). Alabama is cracking down on substance abuse during pregnancy. Legislatures in Alabama have prosecuted women who expose their children to drugs while pregnant. The
Open Document