Everyone substance abuse disorder is likely to provide a

Everyone is aware of the fact that
alcohol, tobacco, or drug use by the mother or father can potentially impair
the maturing fetus throughout pregnancy. Knowing how harmful its effects can be
we still witness people do it anyway, and it’s not just a mother that can cause
harm to the baby it’s the father as well. The controversial argument still
lies, should expectant women be prosecuted for their actions involving drug,
tobacco, or alcohol use during pregnancy. The issue of substance abuse by an
expecting mother is one that has constantly troubled society.

Maternal alcohol and drug
abuse during a pregnancy continues to be a serious social and public health
concern. Prenatal alcohol and drug exposure adversely affects growth and
development of the fetus and may put an exposed child at risk for a range of
physical and neurodevelopmental problems that persist across the lifespan.

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Postnatal, a birth mother with an untreated substance abuse disorder is likely
to provide a home environment compromised by myriad problems associated with
addiction. For over a decade, elected officials nationwide
have attempted to penalize women for their actions during a pregnancy, which
may affect the fetus they’re carrying. Expecting mothers, despite substance
abuse problems, are targeted victims, finding themselves prosecuted for such
non-existent crimes as “fetal” abuse and delivery of drugs through the umbilical
cord. Pregnant women are being civilly committed or jailed, and new mothers are
losing custody of their children even when they would be capable parents.

Meanwhile, state legislators have frequently initiated substance abuse and
child welfare programs that would penalize only pregnant women with addiction
problems. Although no state has enacted a law that specifically criminalizes
conduct during a pregnancy, prosecutors have used statutes prohibiting abuse or
neglect of children to charge women for actions that potentially harm the
fetus. The
matter of drug use is submerged with strong viewpoints, however, no issue
causes such reactions as pregnant women who use drugs or have drug-exposed
newborns. North Carolina joined a growing list of states that have introduced
or passed bills criminalizing pregnant women that use drugs, as well as
punishing those who don’t seek treatment with jail time. While the intention
behind these laws may be to deter pregnant women from using drugs, these laws
seem to cause the reverse outcome, steering a resource poor population away
from treatment and towards behaviors that can further harm mothers and babies. This
viewpoint believes that when people censure others, it is more difficult to
create productive change. 

Presently,
official procedures for how to answer to an expecting mother that may be using
drugs, or a baby born with evidence of dependency, vary widely from hospital to
hospital. Select members of the staff might choose to call Child Protective
Services to detach the baby from its mother, even when the mother is on medication-assisted
treatment. Stress of discrimination steers expecting mothers that use drugs in
secret, away from drug treatment or prenatal care. Some women attempt detoxing
off drugs on their own, even though sudden termination of drug use can lead to
pregnancy complications. Other women choose home births to deter hospitals
completely. Home births are dangerous for newborns with vulnerability to drug
use, as specialized medical care may be necessary to relieve their symptoms. Just
because a woman is an expecting mother it doesn’t mean she can miraculously
defeat a chronic condition, you can’t overcome diabetes while pregnant, but you
can manage it (Castillo, 2015). The same holds true for addiction. There is a
chance to reach out to those women with drug abuse problems because they are
expecting mothers. It’s our job to ensure that laws are not criminalizing
expectant mothers with drug problems and sending them farther away.