Drug and Alcohol Use During Pregnancy

Drug and Alcohol Use during Pregnancy
Current and unmet needs of pregnant women using drugs are discovering that a woman is taking drugs. Professionals do not know the woman is taking drugs until the baby is born. The March of Dimes (March of Dimes, 2010) estimates “four percent of women in the United States” (March of Dimes, 2010, para.1) use illegal drugs. Many women who use drugs and alcohol during pregnancy cannot quit because the baby could die while in the womb.   When a baby is born, he or she will need detoxification of the drugs and alcohol. Women are not receiving care during pregnancy for the addictions and the babies are usually born with many birth defects, retardation, and withdraw symptoms.
Pregnant women who use alcohol and drugs are usually practicing unhealthy behavior that leads to sexually transmitted diseases. Risqué behaviors and unsupervised visits by doctors prevent healthy babies. Most women who engage in bad habits during pregnancy have poor nutrition and do not take prenatal vitamins. “Low birth weight, premature babies, stillbirth,” (Drug use in pregnancy, 1993, para.1) and many more problems occur to babies born in this condition. If a doctor, a family member, or a friend can intervene and help the woman obtain help the baby will have a better chance.
Alcohol and cigarettes are major contributors of unhealthy behavior during pregnancy according to “Pediatrics for Parents” (Drug use in pregnancy, 1993, p.1). “Smoking cigarettes” (Drug use in pregnancy, 1993, para.2) during pregnancy is a one of the highest drug habits and more education to stop the smoking of cigarettes needed to stop the epidemic of a baby’s birth defects, retardation, and low birth weights.
Many pregnant women who have not received enough education regarding the use of drugs do not know what the consequences are to the unborn fetus.   A program geared toward young girls in middle school or high school would be beneficial.
A program called DARE (DARE, America, 1996)...