26.03.2014

Treatment for pregnant drug users

Four years ago, Georgia lawmakers rejected a bill that would have made it possible to file criminal charges against pregnant women who used drugs and later miscarried. All this makes it hard for women to admit they need help with their addiction, Dennis said. That’s the question that National Advocates for Pregnant Women is hoping will be answered by the federal courts.
There is little doubt that states across the country are increasingly looking for ways to charge those who currently or formerly used drugs and became pregnant, even in cases where the person in question is actually doing things that are in the best interest of the child she is carrying or has given birth to. In an even more unsettling case in Alabama, a young woman is being actively sought by the police after leaving her newborn in the hospital after giving birth, after the baby tested positive for cocaine and opiates.
The idea of pregnancy and drug abuse, either actual or potential, is a tough one for many people to rationalize as anything but a crime. Arresting a pregnant person who may have a drug problem does little to address the underlying reason for the addiction and could cause further physical harm to the fetus.
Ecstasy Addiction Cleveland OhioMike Wilson1 years agoThis is not mostly true, while Pregnant Drug Users Be Treated Like Criminals. Margaret Goodman2 years agoI hate to sound like a broken record, but there are lots of reasons for a woman to be pregnant when she does not want to be. Care2 is the largest and most trusted information and action site for people who care to make a difference in their lives and the world. The researchers' goals are to improve treatment of pregnant women who need to take medications.
Faculty members from the UW School of Pharmacy and the UW School of Medicine have secured a $4.7 million National Institutes of Health grant to study drug disposition during pregnancy. The principal investigator on this multi-part, five-year grant from the NIH National Institute on Drug Abuse is Jashvant Unadkat, professor of pharmaceutics. Longterm, researchers would like to improve treatment of pregnant women who need to take medications. The Unadkat lab has been studying drug disposition during pregnancy for more than 25 years. Earlier, Unadkat’s goals were to develop therapeutic strategies to prevent transmission of HIV from mother to child before birth. Faculty members throughout the UW School of Pharmacy study the safe and effective use of medications taken during pregnancy.
Tamara Loertscher: Wisconsin mother is thrown in jail for refusing drug treatment she says she didn't need.
Drug-using pregnant women may not be the most sympathic characters, but their civil rights deserve to be defended.
Last week I wrote about the escalating trend toward arresting women who use illegal drugs while pregnant, even when the science indicates that legal drugs like tobacco and alcohol do the same or more proven harm to babies than opioids and methamphetamine. I can now say the same about another case out of Wisconsin: a woman arrested for drug use even though she says she stopped when she realized she was pregnant, brought to court and twice refused lawyers (even though her fetus was given one), and then sent to jail for 17 days, where she was placed in solitary confinement, denied prenatal care even as she began cramping, and not given her thyroid medication for two days, according to the woman and her lawyers. In a conference call on Thursday, an attorney at the National Advocates for Pregnant Women outlined the case of 30-year-old Tamara Loertscher, who used meth and marijuana before she discovered she was pregnant. When Loertscher first suspected she was pregnant over the summer, she was about 14 weeks along. In jail, Loertscher says she asked for but was not allowed to keep two scheduled prenatal visits with her doctor.


Amid all this, weirdly enough, Loertscher says she was told she would need to submit to a pregnancy test.
Individual drug users aren’t always the only ones who suffer as a result of their drug use.
In Tennessee, where the problem mirrors KY’s, 28 percent of pregnant women on Medicaid filled an opioid prescription, according to the Courier-Journal piece. More recently, buprenorphine has proven to be a safer treatment for opiate-dependent pregnant women.
While the most extreme problems with NAS are occurring in a group of southern states including Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Alabama, national rates of hospitalization for the syndrome are on the rise, too.
Clearly there is a present need for more programs offering safe and effective treatment for opiate-dependent pregnant women.
Stepworks Recovery CentersStepworks Recovery Centers has been restoring lives hurt by addiction for over a decade. Bei Bei Shuai in Indiana was charged with murder despite doing everything that doctors requested of her to try to care for her baby both during pregnancy and after birth after she went in for treatment following a suicide attempt. Arrest as a precedent could also send others like Beltram from accessing prenatal care or fully informing medical professionals about their entire medical history of which the drug issues are a part.
If a pregnant woman doing drugs willingly leaves behind a child she cannot or does not feel she can care for, that is in the infants best interest.
It will involve three subprojects, each examining different drug types and their disposition in pregnant women and their fetuses: the drug abuse treatment methadone, amphetamines and other illicit drugs, and the antidepressant bupropion. Simcyp uses a population-based simulator to conduct physiological pharmacokinetic modeling — a mathematical modeling technique for predicting the disposition of synthetic or natural chemical substances in virtual human populations. His group recognized that the use of illicit drugs in pregnancy is an important social issue.
Brought in for two juvenile court hearings under the state’s so-called cocaine mom law, Loertscher refused to submit to in-patient treatment because, she said, she was not an addict and had stopped using drugs. She says she stopped using and made an appointment within days at a hospital to begin to care for the pregnancy and to seek treatment for the depression and hypothyroidism.
Beltran also sued for how Wisconsin treated her, but the case petered out when a judge dismissed it after she’d been released from custody. Hikes in the number of infants born with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) highlight the need for programs that treat opiate-dependent pregnant women to reduce the suffering of their newborns. From 2013 to 2014, the number of infants admitted for hospital care for the syndrome in KY rose by 48 percent. According to a University of Louisville neonatologist quoted in the above-cited story, heroin is the drug of choice of most pregnant women suffering from addiction. The worst cases of NAS will result from active addictions to heroin or painkillers throughout pregnancy. While women might desire to abstain from all opioid substances while pregnant, this will often lead to relapse with a more dangerous drug like heroin.
Studies such as one from the National Institute on Drug Abuse have shown that treatment with this medication results in much milder NAS symptoms.
In 2009, the National Institute on Drug Abuse reported that one baby was born suffering from NAS every hour. In KY, fewer than one quarter of all addiction treatment facilities provide treatment for pregnant women.


We've helped over 6,000 clients recover from alcohol, heroin, and substance abuse and maintain one of the highest rates for sobriety one year out of treatment in the nation. But in actuality, for anyone who supports women, the rights of those who struggle or have struggled with addiction, or children’s rights should be able to draw together in common cause. Children born without adequate prenatal care are going to be children who will be subject to a number of health risks regardless of what the mother may be doing during her pregnancy. Addiction of drugs can not be short out so easily, but you want to cam out then you definitely overcome from this. The analysis may help predict how pregnant women and their fetuses handle illicit drugs, medications for drug abuse, and antidepressants.
The researcher also want to provide new tools to predict fetal exposure to drugs during pregnancy and to evaluate risks to the baby. Wisconsin is one of the states that turned down the Medicaid expansion tied to Obamacare that might have made it easier for people in her situation to get health insurance.
A urine test showed her recent drug use, which Loertscher says she also told her medical provider about, and she was called into a hearing with a judge by phone. The standard treatment for pregnant women has been methadone maintenance, even though the presence of methadone in the mother’s system will usually result in NAS, requiring hospital treatment after delivery. Compared to the results of methadone treatment, infants born to mothers treated with buprenorphine required less medication and were able to taper off more quickly. Out of the 71 facilities that do treat opiate-dependent pregnant women, only 10 facilities offer inpatient or residential care. You can get more helps and support in Drug Rehab Center, there are experienced doctor's supervisors that take extra care of you. She says she started using meth and marijuana in an attempt to self-medicate for the fatigue and depression she was experiencing, using meth two to three times a week and marijuana less often.
Evidence suggests that placing women on opioid medications will provide the best chance for reducing NAS problems after childbirth. They finished treatment and hospitalization twice as quickly as those born to mothers who were treated with methadone. It is a form of withdrawal from the substances that were prevalent in the mother’s system.
More providers are looking to offer services to pregnant women, but for now there are more opiate-dependent pregnant women than providers are able to treat. Arresting pregnant women, or threatening them with arrest, also goes against recommendations by the American Medical Association and many other mainstream medical groups, which point out that such arrests and threats can discourage women from seeking prenatal care. Drug users, and especially pregnant ones, don’t make for the most sympathetic characters, which makes defending their civil rights that much harder. NAS produces a number of painful symptoms for the newborn, including respiratory problems in the worst cases.



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