Guidelines For Treating Children Born to Drug-Addicted Mothers is Revised

Guidelines For Treating Children Born to Drug-Addicted Mothers is Revised

The number of infants suffering from drug-related affects after birth has increased nearly 45 percent in the past 15 years, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. What are the options to helping those children exposed to drugs while in the womb?

The American Academy of Pediatrics recently updated its guidelines on how it feels infants should be treated. Lists of the affects different drugs have on children after birth were discussed in a recent medical article.

While there are no conclusive results, the increase of children born with drug-related issues may be a rise in maternal addiction and drug misuse during pregnancy. Women can often be prescribed medicines to treat depression and pain symptoms without knowing the side effects they could have on their child.

But that’s not always the case. The National Household Survey on Drug Use and Health reported about one percent of expectant mothers admitted to using Oxycotin, an opioid painkiller.

Medical professions that are treating pregnant women with an addiction to prescription pain pills or even heroin are being advised to give them buprenorphine or methadone, based on the new guidelines. The National Institutes of Health and World Health Organization are also onboard with this recommendation.

Another piece to the puzzle is the continuation of drug use, even after birth. Studies show that children born to addicts tend to do better when the mother herself receives treatment. To ensure this, both women and children need all the support and medical treatment they can get.

The best offering of support begins with doing away with the label “drug addicted” when referring to the infant. The term itself is not accurate since children born of addicts cannot themselves continue with the drug use.

Ironically, with the entire stigma attached to illegal drug abuse, the most common drug to cause the most permanent damage when consumed by pregnant women is alcohol. The sad thing is drinking is often overlooked with no reprocusions given out to those mothers. Yet, fetal alcohol syndrome , which causes intellectual disability, is very preventable.

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