Essay on Substance Abuse And The Pregnancy

Essay on Substance Abuse And The Pregnancy

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What is substance abuse and how it relates to Pregnancy
Substance abuse is the illegal use of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco for altering ones state of consciousness. One can ingest, inject, or inhale the substance to get the desired effect. Substance abuse dependence is categorized as psychological and physical. Psychological dependence is the craving and compulsive need for the substance; whereas, physical dependence, once hooked a person may experience physical withdrawal symptoms in addition to psychological dependence signs (Leifer, 2015). Pregnant women should consider what they are consuming once discovering they are pregnant. Exposure to drugs, alcohol, or tobacco will place the fetus at risk for birth defects that are entirely preventable. Studies have shown each year approximately 400,000 to 440,000 infants are affected by the mother’s abuse of substances ( U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2016) As of February 2016, 18 states consider substance abuse during pregnancy to be child abuse under civil child welfare statutes and mothers can now be prosecuted (Schub, Kornusky, 2016).
Risk factor that place women at risk for substance abuse
Most times before a woman conceives, she has or may have a substance abuse problem that trickled over before becoming pregnant. Most women with substance abuse problems do not show all the signs. Avoiding prenatal care, premature labor and delivery, placental abruption, and fetal death are just a few (Wilson, 2008). Therefore, when making the diagnoses, it up to the care provider to assess the patient history for risk factors associated with substance abuse. Factors that may affect pregnant women include alcoholism, stress from social en...


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... where a licensed physician could manage the withdrawal symptoms medically. Therefore, women are prescribed medication that could aide in the side effects against withdrawals. Medications used for drugs abuse is methadone or buprenorphine to relive the cravings and suppress withdrawal symptom. Medication for alcoholism is nalterxone to block cravings, and acamprosate to reduce anxiety and restlessness. Medication given to treat tobacco use is bupropion and chantix that works on the brain to prevent relapses in mothers trying to quit (National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2016). As nurses, we could educate the mothers on the importance of breastfeeding to prevent neonatal withdrawal symptoms, how to utilize coping mechanisms to avoid substance use, and educate that relapse is common and a good supporting network can help in the recovery process (Schub, Kornusky, 2016).

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