A new research study shows that drug abuse during pregnancy has doubled in the last decade and a half when heroin and narcotic pain medications were evaluated, and this is a big jump. This trend in opioid abuse during pregnancy is alarming, but it is important to note that even today less than .005 of pregnancies include these types of drug abuse. The medical study only looked at opioids, and it included both legal prescription medications like vicodine, morphine, oxycodone, and methadone and illegal street drugs including heroin. This type of drug abuse during pregnancy places both the mother and the child at a much higher risk of certain problems and complications during pregnancy and through the birth process, as well as after delivery in many cases.
The medical study on opioid abuse during gestation and certain forms of drug abuse during pregnancy shows that the alarming trend of opioid abuse in the USA also occurs in pregnant women. Obstetric Anesthesia Division at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston chief Dr. Lisa Leffert was the senior researcher and study author explained “This increase in opioid abuse and dependence in the pregnant population is happening along with that in the general population. These women were more likely to deliver by cesarean and have extended hospital stays compared to other pregnant women.”
The Baron Edmond de Rothschild Chemical Dependency Institute at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City director Dr. Robert Newman did note that there are a number of study limitations though “The study makes no distinction between dependence on appropriately prescribed, medically indicated opioids and that associated with self-administered opioids taken under potentially very hazardous circumstances. The different consequences for the expectant mother and unborn child are enormous.”