The Agony of Thousands of Babies Would Be Spared if Moms Get Addiction Help Before Pregnancy
To me, there is nothing sadder than a baby born addicted to drugs. Having taken just about every kind of drug myself – in the distant past – and knowing the type of physical, mental and emotional experiences you can have, I just can’t imagine the agony and confusion a baby goes through: incapable of making sense of what’s going on, and without a clue how to stop it or even that it will ever stop. Really, teens and young adults who engage in sexual activity AT ALL should get addiction help just in case they get pregnant.
Really, it must be hell. Being a baby is hard enough – can’t walk, can’t talk, can’t feed yourself, and so on. Imagine also going through withdrawal symptoms, or just being ‘high’ (not always a pleasant experience) or, on prescription drugs, having some of those ghastly side effects and not even being able to tell anyone about it so you can get help!
I recently read some shocking statistics about babies who are born addicted:
• In the U.S., one baby addicted to prescription painkillers is born every hour.
• 16.2 percent – one in six – of pregnant teens are taking illegal drugs.
• 7.4 percent of pregnant women aged 18 through 25 are also abusing drugs.
• In the year 2000, U.S. hospitals spent $190 million taking care of addicted newborns. By 2009, that number had soared to $720 million.
In the article that had the statistics, the author said the problem was that communities are not educating teens and adults about the dangers of prescription drug abuse.
Sure, that’s true. But it is far from the bottom line. To start with, kids have to be educated on the dangers of prescription drug use – you don’t even have to abuse prescription drugs to get addicted. Especially when it comes to painkillers. You can get hooked on them just taking them as the doctor ordered.
Next, as the parents of those teens and young people, if we stop using drugs as a solution to our own problems (unless it’s truly a life-threatening situation) then we’re no longer setting that example for our kids.
While it’s true that kids are influenced by other kids, it is proven that if their parents are educating them about the dangers of drugs – including prescription drugs – then the chances of them taking drugs themselves are decreased by 50 percent.
Don’t underestimate the influence you have on your kids. Educating them yourself, and setting a good example, could save your kids AND your grandchildren from the horrible misery of addiction.
And remember to tell your kids that it is very dangerous, and difficult, if not impossible, for both mother and baby to go through drug rehab when mom is already pregnant. It’s important to get clean and stay clean so they don’t have to take that risk.