GRAND Magazine - May/June 2019 - 25

Health

Opiate addiction and pregnant women

P

eople with an opiate addiction lack the ability to
stop their compulsive drug seeking and use, even
when they are faced with possible negative outcomes as a result. This means that opiate addicts will
continue to use, regardless of the cost. Even when the
cost is the health of their baby. According to findings
published in the journal Anesthesiology, more pregnant women are abusing opiates than ever before.

The findings

A review of over 57 million women in the United
States admitted for delivery revealed the number of pregnant women who were abusing opiates or had an opiate
addiction had risen 127 percent over the course of 14
years. The research reveals opiate addiction, abuse, and
dependence among pregnant women rose more than
double between 1998 and 2011. Plus, the growth was
even greater for women between 20 and 34 years old; for
them, it rose 162 percent.

* Pregnant women with opiate addiction are three
times more likely than non-addicted women to have
their placenta prematurely separate itself from the uterine wall.
* Pregnant women with an opiate addiction require
considerably longer hospital stays than mother without
an addiction.
* Pregnant women dependent on opiates are almost
five times as likely as non-dependent pregnant women to
die during their hospitalization.

What can be done?

The lead study author and chief of
obstetric anesthesia at Massachusetts
General Hospital, Boston, Lisa R. Leffert,
asserts, "there is an urgent need to
understand the link with bad outcomes
and to develop interventions to help prevent them."
Possible risks
Much more research is still needed to
Opiates invite danger into the lives of every user, espeeffectively treat women who are pregnant
cially those with an addiction, and pregnant women and
their fetuses are not exempt. Opiate use presents serious and addicted to opiates. We hope that the
ongoing focus on helping women, and spehealth risks for both, including the following.
cific new studies that focus on gender spe* Pregnant women with opiate dependence are two
cific needs when it comes to addiction recovtimes more likely than non-dependent mothers to give
ery become the basis of upcoming treatment
birth to stillborn children, premature ones, or to babies
who suffer poor growth.
changes.
25 GRAND

MAY JUNE 2019


https://www.facebook.com/GRANDmagazine/ https://www.twitter.com/grandMmagazine https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/anesthesiology_(journal https://www.news-medical.net/news/20141119/Opioid-abuse-in-pregnant-women-increases-12725-in-14-years.aspx https://www.addictions.com/

GRAND Magazine - May/June 2019

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