Drug Addiction and Pregnancy – Harmful Effects Aplenty

A responsible pregnant mother is unlikely to use illicit drugs, because she knows that it would harm her child. Using drugs can ruin pregnancy, even after giving birth. This is a very serious issue that all mothers should be aware of because it could destroy the lives of the innocent children.

Effects of Drug Addiction to the Mother during Pregnancy:

A pregnant mother who is a drug addict can increase the risk for heart and blood infection, anemia, hepatitis, skin infections, and other infectious illnesses and disorders. There is also higher risk for sexually transmitted diseases. Other effects of drug addiction can be having trouble sleeping at night, poor appetite, decision making can be hard, water may break early, sudden bleeding, and premature labor.

Effects of Drug Addiction to the Mother after Pregnancy:

After pregnancy, the mother may find a hard time dealing with a new born child even as simple as feeding and diapering. As far as breast feeding goes, the drug content can change the normal formulation of the milk which can be unhealthy for the baby when taken. Coping with a new born baby can be difficult because the mother is already dependent on drug which in return affects the behavior of the mother. She would have difficulty in making decision, bond with her child, or even get or hold into her job.

Effects of Drug Addiction to Child during Pregnancy:

As drugs are taken, it can pass into the placenta, a body organ that gives nourishment to the baby. Most of the time it can have poisonous, toxic effect on the child and at times the addiction can be passed on the child. Another effect would be an abnormal formation of the child in the womb.

Effects of Drug Addiction to the Child after Being Born:

After the child is born there could be a greater risk of birth defects but developmental and birth problems later in the child’s life. This includes being dependent on drugs as well. Other effects of mothers drug addiction on the child can be low weight at birth, physical appearance abnormalities, early delivery or miscarriage, mental retardation, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome or Effect, heart problems and even death. Once the child is born chances are high for dependencies on the drug, and the child may have a hard time without it. This eventually could lead the child developing addiction.

Drugs and Their Effects

Heroin and Cocaine:

These drugs are addictive and unborn babies have a higher tendencies to become addictive to it. These also leads to high risk of premature birth, still birth, low birth weight, low blood sugar, and even death to the child. Symptoms may also include diarrhea, hyperactivity, fever, convulsion, sleep abnormalities, and respiratory problems. Heroin and cocaine affects the development and behavior of the child and has the effect of having mental retardation, impaired perception, motor, and organizational skills.

Hallucinogens:

This drug can greatly cause miscarriages and premature labor. Babies can have an abnormal birth development, causing them to have brain damage, inflexible and poor muscle control, and physical deformities. The child may grow up having behavioral problems as they continue his or her life.

Methamphetamines:

The most common methamphetamines are Ecstasy, Speed, and Crystal Meth. In general, methamphetamines during pregnancy create higher chances to have an increase in heart rate for both the fetus and the mother. The fetus will suffer from a very shortness of oxygen which can cause miscarriage, premature labor, and low birth weight. Babies can get addicted to this drug as well, and will undergo withdrawal symptoms growing up. The brain formation of the fetus will be affected and may cause difficulty in learning later on.

Marijuana:

Marijuana may seem harmless because unlike any other drugs this can only be used by smoking. But this belief is so wrong. Marijuana chemicals and substances, like any other drug, passes through the mothers blood stream and crossing the placenta. Just like smoking a cigarette, it hinders the baby from receiving enough supply of oxygen for it to have a normal growth. Just like other drugs, this can cause behavioral problems as the child grows older, miscarriages, low birth weight, and premature birth.

Treatment:

It is never too late for pregnant mothers who had used drugs to change and save themselves and their babies. Mothers who have taken drugs should strictly put an end to it during the first one to three months of pregnancy, or better yet, stop immediately. Putting an end to drug addiction is not an option but the only way to lead a better life you the mother and the child.

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Prescription Drugs, Baby Aspirin or Natural Alternatives for Dog Pain Relief?

You may ask yourself when is the best time to use aspirin for your dogs arthritis, or joint pain? My dog Mary will be 17 this summer, even though she has slowed down she is in remarkably good shape for a dog of her age; especially considering that she is a large breed Lab/Ches mix. Mary seemed to start experiencing some arthritic pain in her early teens it was at that time I started doing some research and made some choices as to how I would treat her pain.

Step one, journal. When does your dog seem to be in pain? Consider time of day, current weather, exercise routine etc. Next, look at your dogs diet. Have you researched what is really in your dogs food? Look for dog food brands that are high in protein, omega fatty oils, fruits, vegetables, good grains, and chelated minerals. I can not emphasize how important it is to read your dog food ingredient labels. Avoid ingredients such as meat byproducts, artificial colors or flavorings, any food that relies on poor quality grain, such as corn gluten meal. Cheap grains will artificially boost the protein rating of your dogs food, without adding any benefit.

Get a complete physical for your dog and discuss the details of how your dog seems to experience pain. Your Veterinarian may prescribe pain relievers such as Rimadyl. Should your vet prescribe pain relievers such as Rimadyl or Carprofen, please research these drugs extensively. Prescription pain relievers for dogs, perform miracles for some, and cause death to others. Use prescription drugs with extreme caution. Keep the fact in mind that drug companies make incredibly huge profits from pushing these drugs however, like I said before these drugs can perform wonders with many dogs.

In Mary’s case, we have not gotten to the point of using prescription drugs. For the first few years, I made some additions to Mary’s food, using natural plants, herbs and oils that are proven effective in reducing inflammation, thus reducing pain. Some plants, herbs and oils effective against pain are Alfalfa, Yucca, Turmeric and fish oil. Another relatively safe, over the counter, dog pain relief home remedy is baby aspirin for dogs. Baby aspirin does come with possible side effects. Mary takes aspirin only on days that she seems to be experiencing higher levels of pain.

Mary did get some relief from the addition of plants and herbs to her food however, as her age progressed we moved to a natural chewable supplement that has been even more effective. I do still add fish oil to Mary’s food and believe that fish oil can benefit dogs and even cats of all ages.

Hopefully, I can write another article in a year and tell you how Mary has progressed. I am just thankful that she has been with me for so long. Should her time come, I will fondly remember all of the great years we had together and would only hope that I will have more companions as beautiful, gentle and loving as her in the future.

How To Stop Drug Addiction In Babies

As recently as 2009, 13,539 babies were born already addicted to opioid painkillers. How is this possible? Well, anything an expecting mother eats, drinks, smokes, swallows or injects into her body not only circulates through her system, it also passes through the body of the growing fetus. When a pregnant woman takes drugs, these substances are also passing through the developing body and brain of the baby she is carrying.

Painkillers such as Oxycontin and Vicodin are powerful opiates-drugs that come from the same basic plant sources as heroin and opium. When a pregnant woman takes these drugs, her newborn child will come into the world with a body that is already dependent on the drugs.

Since no one in their right mind wants to give infants powerful pain pills, these babies will immediately begin experiencing withdrawal symptoms. Literally cut off from the source of the opiates the moment the umbilical cord is severed, the baby is immediately thrust into the same position as an addict that has come down from his high.

Doctors report that these infants will experience excruciating pain. They will cry non-stop and have vomiting, diarrhea and occasionally even seizures. This is a terrible fate for anyone to go through, let alone babies experiencing their very first days of life.

Any hospital or community aware of this situation would obviously want to take effective action to reduce the number of babies being born already addicted to drugs, but one of solutions that seems most obvious-a woman simply quitting the drugs once she becomes pregnant-may not actually be a solution at all.

The problem with this “cold turkey” approach is that many drug addicts will not talk to a doctor about their pregnancy until they are already several months along. According to medical experts, having the drug addict stop using the drug immediately would cause her withdrawal symptoms to begin, and this can create problems for the fetus, up to and including a miscarriage.

A much better solution, then, would be for an addict to quit using drugs before becoming pregnant. For women that are planning on having children intentionally, this is the most sensible course of action, even if quitting drugs is never easy. These women should enter a drug rehabilitation program to get clean and then try to get pregnant.

In order to this approach to actually work, potential mothers should have the opportunity to get educated about the dangers of using drugs during pregnancy. Making this information widely available through high school drug education programs is one method of preventing infant drug addiction from occurring.

Many women get pregnant unintentionally, too, of course, and this is where preventing drug addiction in babies can get difficult. Doctors are currently researching ways to help drug addicted, pregnant women come off of drugs without endangering the lives of their babies.

For the time being, however, prevention really is the best solution. If women don’t use drugs in the first place, the lives and health of their future children will never be in danger.

Labor Medications Can Harm Your Baby

It used to be thought that the unborn baby was protected from harm by the placenta which filtered out dangerous chemicals. The tragedy of the limb-deficient Thalidomide babies in the 1970’s, however, connected the use of drug with very real consequences to the growing fetus. Additional anomalies were detected in off-spring of women who took DES.

No drug has been found SAFE for the unborn baby. Generally, the greatest danger from maternal drug consumption is seen in drug use during the first trimester of the pregnancy. Some drugs will only cause problems if taken with other drugs or if taken at a certain critical point in the development of the baby. It must be assumed that every drug the mother takes during her pregnancy will cross the placenta and reach the baby. This includes prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs like aspirin.

LABOR MEDICATIONS

The best and safest course to take is to avoid all drugs during labor. The effects of many pain relieving drugs last much longer in the newborn than in the mother. Barbiturates and sedatives may cause the newborn to have respiratory difficulties and sucking problems. Narcotics such as Demerol, Stadol, Dilaudid, etc., can affect the newborn’s ability to breathe and alter the baby’s behavior for weeks. Mothers who get a tranquilizer may also be lowering their baby’s heart rate or temperature, cause poor muscle tone in their babies and alter the baby’s responsiveness and behavior.

A great many American women receive PITOCIN at some point during their labor to initiate labor or speed up the process. It has a known side-effect of affecting the baby’s heart rate causing oxygen deprivation. It has also been linked with newborn jaundice.

At the 1994 MANA Convention in Chicago, I spoke with numerous labor and delivery nurses from the area who were disgusted at the high rates of intervention at their hospitals. Many of these nurses claimed that their hospitals had about a 90% epidural rate! They acknowledged that the real risks of taking this form of regional anesthetic was never really mentioned to the women who asked for or accepted the procedure and other drugs. As more women receive this form of pain relief, hopefully more research and documentation on the adverse effects of this procedure will accumulate and be made available to the public. Currently we know that if any of the drug finds its way into the blood stream, the baby’s heart rate may change and the baby may be depressed at birth. The passage of the baby through the birth canal is also affected due to the relaxing of the mother’s tissue from the medication.

ALTERNATIVES FOR PRE-LABOR DRUGS

Many alternatives to drugs are available. For those who reach immediately for the aspirin bottle with a headache, relaxation techniques may be a good substitute. Allergy symptoms that include watery eyes, runny nose and coughs may be healed as much by honey and lemon as by all the cold medicines on the market. Massage can alleviate sore muscles and backaches and insomnia.

Many herbal preparations are currently for sale to alleviate frequent problems. Homeopathic remedies are also available in many drug stores. The low does herbal and homeopathic remedies available are generally safe when used appropriately according to the directions. Many books have been published to guide the consumer.

Pregnancy – The Other Drug Rehab

Drugs can damage the development of a baby, and can cause complications during pregnancy. Certain drugs can cause nutritional deficiencies, anemia, and fetal growth retardation. The use of drugs while pregnant can also increase the chance of developing toxemia or pre-eclampsia. Marijuana use during pregnancy can cause attention deficit, memory problems and impaired decision making skills. These problems usually don’t appear until age 3. The use of amphetamines is associated with an increase in cardiovascular defects in babies. Barbiturate use during pregnancy may be linked to birth defects, withdrawals, poor feeding, and seizures. Opiods are associated with abnormalities and complications during pregnancy. There is a high risk for premature labor, intrauterine growth retardation and pre-eclampsia, in women who use opiods while pregnant. Cocaine use by the mother-to-be can increase the risk of miscarriage. Babies born to mothers who used cocaine during pregnancy can have lower IQ scores and mental deficiencies. Sudden infant death syndrome is more common in babies born to mothers who used cocaine. The use of PCP during pregnancy is believed to cause abnormal development in babies. It can cause the mother to have mental illness and loose contact with reality.

If you smoke cigarettes, and are pregnant or plan to be pregnant you should definitely consider stopping the habit. When you inhale tobacco smoke you are inhaling substances that are harmful to you and your growing baby. These substances include nicotine, carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, tars, resins and other cancer causing agents. These harmful chemicals are passed through the placenta to the baby when inhaled by the mother to be.

Smoking has a number of harmful effects on babies such as, a low birth weight, lower IQ scores, reading disorders, and hyperactivity. Smoking has also been known to interfere with the baby’s absorption of vitamins B and C and folic acid, which are all important to the growth and development of the baby. There is a risk of developing placental abruption during pregnancy that increases to 25% in women who are moderate smokers, and 65% in women who smoke heavily. Smoking during pregnancy also increases the risk of miscarriage, death of the baby while still in the mother, or shortly after birth. The risk of placenta previa is 25% more likely to happen in women who smoke moderately, and 90% more likely in women who smoke heavily.

Drinking alcohol while pregnant is also not a good idea. There are very serious risks involved with drinking alcohol and being pregnant. Even a little amount of alcohol can increase the risk of having a miscarriage. Large amounts of alcohol can result in abnormalities of the baby. Chronic alcohol use can lead to fetal alcohol syndrome, FAS, which is when the fetus develops abnormally.

Fetal alcohol syndrome refers to growth retardation before and after the child’s birth. This can mean heart and limb defects and unusual facial characteristics. Children born with FAS can also have behavioral problems, impaired speech, and impaired muscle and joint use.

Abnormalities in babies have been associated with as little as two drinks a day. It is best to avoid alcohol altogether, so that you do not put your baby at risk of having fetal alcohol syndrome. Some over the counter cold medicines contain alcohol, so make sure to read labels before use of all medications.

Not only does the mother need to avoid alcohol, but it is also a good idea for the father to not drink also. Research suggests that large amounts of alcohol consumed by the father may cause the baby to be born with FAS. Alcohol consumption by the father has also been known to cause intrauterine growth retardation.

Not only can illegal drugs have harmful effects on babies, but legal drugs and medications can have harmful effects on babies also. You should stop all use of medications until you discuss the medicines with your doctor to find out if they are safe to use while pregnant. The best way to prevent any of these harmful effects on your baby is to stop all drug use before and during pregnancy. The next time you consider getting “high”, having a drink, or lighting up, think of how it would feel if your baby is born with abnormalities, and you single handedly could have prevented these hardships for your baby.

Drug Abusing Baby Boomers – What Experts Reveal

Kids born after the Second World War were blessed with greater economic prosperity enjoyed by their parents who met their every need, from clothing to superior education, better lifestyle standards and thus, in turn, better chances at succeeding in the professional world. This generation made good use of the enhanced facilities offered them and the freedom made them question established norms, flout conventions and experiment with new-age thinking and products, including drugs and other mood enhancing substances.

Baby boomers were here to stay – and they made it known to the older generation how much they meant to be different and forward thinking by popularizing the use of marijuana and other prohibited substances. Their followers in turn, paid equal attention to drug-use and since this was a growing, indomitable breed of new-thinkers and radicals, in just a few decades, drug-abuse was rampant throughout American states.

Experts like Joseph Gfroerer reveal that survey material collected by The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in the US have studied a similarity in patterns and trends of drug abuse in previous and current generations i.e. baby boomers and the generation after them. Statistics gained by these survey readings record baby boomers between 50 and 59 years of age revealing 4.4 per cent of them have used illicit drugs and teens in modern times (2005) have brought down this percentage by almost 10 percent. Perhaps, credit for this goes to awareness about drug abuse education spread by the government in public schools and social healthcare programs to discourage use of prohibitive drugs among the people besides efforts by the Office of National Drug Control Policy to highlight the ill-effects of smoking, alcohol abuse and use of illicit drugs like cocaine and marijuana.

The Asst. Gen. surgeon, Eric B. Broderick, questioned the shift in fundamental theories of youngsters (the 18-25 age-group) succumbing to peer pressure and subsequently adding on the amount of emotional baggage they bring with them to maturity, having experienced and experimented with illicit drugs. Murray, from the Office of National Drug Control Policy, names these as gauntlets and believes them to have doggedly pursued the baby boomers till the late 70s, which was undesirable for sustained growth.

Though many marijuana takers revealed they used illicit drugs by their own choice, others were supported in their quest for these substances through friends, dealers and relatives or even strangers sometimes.

According to John Walters of the National Drug Control Policy, baby boomers (nearly 78.2 million were born between 1946 and 1964) took drugs to such an extent that it became a part and parcel of their lifestyle, which was a hard habit to break. But, if Steve Hager, (Editor of High Times that advocates on marijuana), is to be believed, persons over 55 choose this substance over anti-depressants and sleep-inducing medication while those 5 years older still prefer to use drugs for pain and for treating glaucoma.

Smoking weed might have been the done thing when at Woodstock with many baby boomers admitting they are still hanging on to the habit till today, but Murray reveals a certain awareness about the ill-effects of drug abuse in the youth of today who do not want to make the mistakes their parents did and thus, are consciously avoiding the path of self-destruction that use of prohibited drugs can push them towards. Thus, the US government’s health policies for future generations are sure to succeed with sensibilities changing and youth becoming more responsible towards their own future.

Drug Rehab For Teens

Nowadays it seems like it is not drug rehab for teens but drug rehab for the rich and famous. The younger and richer the kids and stars the more they seem to get tangled in drugs, alcohol, and sex scandals. This is why drug rehab for teens is becoming more relevant today. Why is it that these kids and teenagers seem to be getting in so much trouble when you would think the opposite would be happening? Are there secret groups of criminals marketing to the rich and famous or is just the money and supposed power that comes along with it? Maybe is just that they are a kid and rebellion is second nature during those stages in life?

All we know is it is a problem and drug rehab for teens is the solution. The world has several rich technologies readily available yet our infant mortality is rather high for our level and the number of crack and drug babies is on the rise. Babies are abandoned from teenage pregnancies and drug addicts. So what can we do as a society to solve our problem, how can we get more into drug rehab for teens?

Would it be better if schools were privatized again and we could use uniforms and separate boys and girls. Use tougher rules to keep kids in line, learn more, and hopefully avoid such problems. We not suggesting that these will wipe our problems out but it will lower the growing number. After school programs and opportunities would also help. There are programs but not enough and kids either do not feel invited or do not know about them. Such programs would help avoid sending kids to drug rehab for teens. Which do you think they would rather attend fencing or drug rehab for teens? That is the question we think we all can answer.

How to Calm Your Fussy Baby Or Tantruming Toddler

One of the most difficult things for parents to cope with is when their baby cries and they cannot calm or comfort him. Infant crying wears on a parent’s nerves, and when they cannot console their baby, it is easy to feel inadequate and frustrated.

As some children get older, they continue to have difficulty calming themselves. They may seem more unreasonable, impulsive, or hyperactive. They may have unusual sensory behaviors or have difficulty concentrating. Parents can find themselves at their wits’ ends when dealing with these challenging behaviors day in and day out.

After caring for drug exposed and drug affected babies and toddlers, I have learned many techniques for soothing distressed children. A child exposed to illegal drugs prenatally or during formative years may have trouble regulating their sensory systems and behaviors. Their challenges are often more intensified than with those children who were not drug exposed but still show similar challenges.

The most prevalent behavior is constant high pitched crying. The child can be very difficult to console. Children exposed to prescription or illegal drugs often have impaired nervous systems and delayed development. Their peers who have not been exposed to drugs, may have challenging behaviors due to an immature nervous system, temperament type, or some other underlying medical condition. Whatever the background, the techniques used to comfort drug exposed children are also useful for other children.

Even healthy infants have difficulty regulating their body systems. Newborn babies need to be physically close to their primary caregiver. Babies with higher than typical self regulatory problems like drug babies or babies with “colic” need more intervention.

Dr. Harvey Karp, an L.A. pediatrician, identified the Calming Reflex present in infants birth through three month old. His techniques are called the 5 S’s. The first is snug swaddling with the baby’s arms to her side. Second is holding baby along your arm on her side or stomach. The third technique is shushing with a loud “shhh” noise. Forth is swinging baby in a gentle, rhythmic jiggling motion on your lap. Finally, the fifth technique is helping baby learn to suck on a pacifier.

Older babies can require more support as well. They can be more “clingy” and become very upset when their primary caregiver is out of sight. They may also want to be held a lot and sometimes only be able to sleep when being held. The baby needs to be in physical contact with the parent to hear and feel the parent’s heartbeat, breathing and movements.

It helps to put baby in a snuggly front carrier pack. If baby still is fussy, tuck a blanket around baby so it feels like a kangaroo pouch. When baby gets too big for the snuggly pack, and still needs to be held to feel secure, a baby backpack can be used. Putting baby in a pack keeps parent’s hands free while giving baby the physical contact he craves.

Some toddlers may still need help regulating their nervous systems and internal coping mechanisms. These children’s tantrums may be extreme and last for 10, 15, 20 minutes or more. Parents can become frazzled and feel like they’ve done nothing more than raise a ‘brat’.

Little guys like this may benefit from being swaddled. The gentle pressure of wrapping in a favorite comfort blanket and cuddling on the parent’s lap can give a calming effect. Some children find it comforting to be under a very heavy blanket, comforter, or pillows. The weight helps to physically calm the body. Another thing some kids like is a small children’s play tent. The confinement helps decrease the external stimuli.

It is important for parents to understand their child’s unique developmental and physiological needs and not compare him to children without similar challenges. Your child needs your patience, intuition, and a firm decision to do what is best for his challenges. A child cannot be “spoiled” by holding her, comforting her, or teaching her the skills she needs calm herself on her own.