The Correlation of Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Addiction does not have any specific targets and it is surreal to think that anyone from any age, race, background, gender, and ethnicity can become affected with substance abuse from harmful drugs and alcohol. This of course includes pregnant women. Normally, a woman goes through a very joyful and exciting stage when she finds out she is pregnant. She immediately shuts her unhealthy habits out of her life in order to protect her little one. However, this is not the case for women who become pregnant while suffering from alcohol/drug addiction. Pregnant women who suffers from drug addiction are very likely to have a miscarriage or pass on a birth defect on to their baby.
This study examines the effects of substance abuse to pregnant women and the after effects of their addiction onto their children. According to Debra Apollo from her article Pregnancy and Drug Use, in Adolescent Health & Wellness, from 2008 to 2009, 4.5 percent of pregnant girls and women from the age of fifteen to forty-four years and 7.1% of women age eighteen to twenty-five years admitted that they have used drugs in the past month. The most common drugs that were used during pregnancy are cocaine, benzodiazepines, and heroin. Most of these women used drugs during their first trimester and the usage decreased as their pregnancy went further.
The causes of drug addiction may come from lots of different factors. One explanation can be from the family's history and it may carry a genetic risk that may or may not be passed on to. However, a person with no family history of substance abuse can also become addicted as they could be using large amounts of substances repetitively that it comes to the point where they would not be able to survive without it. A major factor as to why a baby becomes affected in the first place is because women hesitate to find help or stop using drugs during pregnancy and it is also proven that pregnant women who suffer from drug abuse are more likely to have poor diet and suffer from stress and violence.
Different substances causes different effects on both the mother and the baby.
There are many things that can injure the fetus from smoking to drinking. For example, smoking can cause the baby to be underweight and malnourished as to drinking, the baby can be born with fetal alcohol syndrome. Although both effects are different from each other, both put the baby's life in a great deal of danger. The causes of other substances will also be different such as cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana, and opiates.
Smoking can also cause complications with the mother as well. This includes pelvic pain, problems with the mother's placenta that consist of detachment and tearings of the placenta.
Going back to the causes of drinking, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, also known FAS puts the baby at risk because when a mother drinks, the alcohol goes through the placenta and straight to the fetus. It is then gets broken down by the fetus but since the fetus is very small, the alcohol remains in its blood longer which causes many side effects to the fetus.