Essay about Substance Abuse Effects On Neonates

Essay about Substance Abuse Effects On Neonates

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Today this paper will be talking about substance abuse effects on neonates. The disease associated with this is called neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). “These substances cross the placenta and can cause dependency in the fetus. The newborn is at risk for a spectrum of withdrawal manifestations (e.g., autonomic dysfunction, respiratory distress, gastrointestinal compromise) that can necessitate prolonged treatment, intensive monitoring, and extended hospitalization and can result in impaired maternal-infant bonding, as well as short- and long-term adverse effects on neurodevelopment” (Davidson, Schub, 2016, p. 2). In the US one baby is born each hour with NAS. There is a lot of research around trying to find alternatives to help the mom that won’t affect the baby. Researchers are still trying to figure out some tests to know how severe the NAS will be once the baby is born and they are also trying to find a way to help the babies before they are born. The nurse is trying to promote more screenings for the baby and also promote how substances will affect the baby and get the health teaching and awareness out there.
Findings- Throughout the nurse’s research it is found that not only are researchers trying to help mothers who have an addiction, but also help the babies who have no say in this matter. They are trying to come up with more tests to do while the baby is still in the womb, but also trying to find alternatives that the mother can take that won’t affect the baby. “Researchers are investigating pharmacologic alternatives to opioid agonist substitution therapy for opioid dependence during pregnancy, including opioid vaccines and drugs that target the serotonergic system” (Davidson, Schub, 2016, p. 2). “Norway has recentl...


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...t continuing methadone treatment, while breastfeeding along with trying to get the mother help if it’s an addiction. Make sure the mother knows about the sign and symptoms while making sure she knows how important her check-up appointments are. Also look at the support the mother has and try to include them in the process, try to get them to help out where they can, even if it’s encouraging the mother to get help if she has an addiction.
In conclusion neonatal abstinence syndrome is a very serious disease and needs to be addressed as fast as possible. There is a lot of research being done on this, and we hope that as nurses they can find a cure while in the womb so these poor babies don’t have to go through this. It is important as a nurse to have a non-judgemental approach while treating these patients because you want them to be as open as possible with you.

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