Substance abuse is a problem that millions of people around the world struggle with, but should drug and alcohol abuse be a criminal matter when the user is pregnant? Statistics show the rate of substance abuse during pregnancy can be high in some cities and countries around the globe. The unborn child has no say in whether the expectant mom engages in drug and alcohol abuse, yet the fetus can be profoundly affected and even end up being born with an addiction. In some cities in the USA it is common to see addicted newborns in the neonatal intensive care units, and Canada is also seeing a rise in substance abuse during pregnancy as well. Many are divided on what to do about this issue, with the health of the mother and baby being top concerns.
In some states in the USA there are laws in place that make substance abuse during pregnancy a criminal matter past a certain point in the gestation period, while other states have no laws available for this behavior. Drug and alcohol abuse during pregnancy can be devastating to the fetus, but should the mother become a criminal with a record instead of simply receiving the help that she needs? Some say that the mother should be placed in an inpatient substance abuse treatment center, others argue that these laws are only used in worse case scenarios where the mother has refused to follow a court order to abstain from substance abuse during pregnancy. If you or someone you know has a problem with substance abuse during pregnancy then help is available.