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How To Spot & Prevent Drug Abuse In Pregnant Women

Updated on October 27, 2009

Narcotic drugs have become the bane of our society. So many lives are wasted through getting wasted that the deleterious effect on our communities has become incalculable. Although many drug users like to claim that they are hurting no one other than themselves and thus others have no right to meddle, that is a completely fallacious argument. The costs to society are currently skyrocketing in lost productivity, rehabilitation costs and increased crime so that drug users can derive the funds to engage in their habits.

However the single greatest crime in an individual's patter on drug abuse is if the abuser is a pregnant woman. The amount of damage which can be caused to the fetus is often unsurvivable, and in many cases where the pregnancy is brought to term, monstrous birth defects are manifested.

I had access to a great number of narcotics-related birth defect photographs, and chose the single image in this Hub as it was the mildest. Many of the birth defects are so horrific that I simply could not bring myself to publishing them.

Birth defects are an abnormal development of the baby which can result in death, functional disorders, structural and / or functional malformation, and growth retardation.

Some of the most frequent birth defects in the babies of drug abusing mothers include structural deficiencies such as: cleft lip and cleft palate; missing or misshaped heart valves; neural tube defects such as spina bifida; abnormal limbs such as clubfoot; and defects in the development of the brain and spinal cord. There are a large number of functional birth defects as well, such as: mental retardation; learning disabilites; convulsions; seizures; sensory problems involving vision and hearing; as well as the degenerative disorders of Rett Syndrome, muscular dystrophy and X-ALD; and the metabolic disorders of hypothyroidism and phenylketonuria.

According to various recent clinical and epidemiological studies anywhere between 4 and a staggering 20 percent of all pregnant women use illegal narcotic drugs with as many as 18% using cocaine. Birth defects are not the only danger to the fetus, as pregnant drug users also have a significantly greater statistical occurrence of premature births, low birth weight, as well as learning and behavioral problems later in life.

Since the best defence is a strong offense, here is a listing of the various illegal substances which are generally utilized to "get high," so that we can more accurately understand what drug users are saying in their clique patois, as well as learn to interpret anomalous behavior as a sign of which particular intoxicating substance the individual is under the influence of. It is imperative that as many citizens as possible reach out to the drug users in our communities and direct them towards the various rehabilitation options which are readily available almost everywhere. This impetus increases significantly if the drug abuser is a woman who is pregnant or likely to become pregnant.

The coverage in the subsequent Hubs is only an abridged summary list as there are many other substances both legal and illegal (including alcohol and Ecstasy) which have been clinically linked to birth defects. There is an excellent resource at the National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information with much more information on these and other illegal substances.

Read The Entire Guide To Spotting & Preventing Drug Abuse!

How To Spot & Prevent Drug Abuse In Pregnant Women
How To Spot & Prevent Drug Abuse In Pregnant Women - Marijuana & Glue Sniffing
How To Spot & Prevent Drug Abuse In Pregnant Women - Cocaine & Heroin
How To Spot & Prevent Drug Abuse In Pregnant Women - Amphetamines & Barbiturates
How To Spot & Prevent Drug Abuse In Pregnant Women - LSD & PCP

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