December 1, 2016 Felicia Durling

Taking Medications While Pregnant

There are news stories rolling in from around the country describing states and counties being overwhelmed by a surge of babies born addicted to drugs. Opiates, specifically, are plaguing the lives of children from their immediate infancy. Babies, without the choice of leaving the hospital and pursuing more drugs, have to endure withdrawal. Much like their parents, should they choose to get sober, the babies experience detox from opiates. Entire wards are dedicated to treating addicted infants, which requires extensive 24 hour care. Addicted babies cry louder and harder. They shake uncontrollably, requiring the administration of liquid morphine to soothe their symptoms.

It is a well known fact that what the mother consumes the child in utero also consumes. Connected for air, food, and water, the mother and child share everything ingested. Mothers are cautioned against drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes, and taking drugs when pregnant. Pregnancy comes with many pains and much discomfort. Until recently, acetaminophen, commonly referred to as Tylenol, has been considered a safe drug for pregnant mothers. Acetaminophen is an ingredient found in most opiate painkillers in addition to morphine. Tylenol is also found as an ingredient in thousands of over the counter drugs.

Recent research suggests that acetaminophen might be harmful during pregnancy, resulting in the development of hyperactivity in children. Comparatively, hyperactivity versus addiction might seem like a fair or preferable trade. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is commonly treated with stimulant medications like Adderall. Numerous studies have proven that treating ADHD in children with stimulant medications can lead to substance abuse. A high percentage of people with substance abuse disorders also suffer from ADHD. Additionally, stimulant “study drugs” used to treat ADHD affect the brain similar to cocaine or meth.

ADHD medications are amphetamines, the same classification given to cocaine. In early developmental stages, the brain learns to “depend” on the presence of stimulant drugs. Problematically, that wires the brain to recognize external substances as the source of everyday activities. For ADHD, those activities typically include concentrating at school. Academic performance, as well as obedience at home, is rewarded. Assigning reward to the effects produced by consuming an external substance quietly programs the child’s brain for addiction.

If you’re a pregnant mother with an addiction, get help for you and your baby today by contacting the Center for Life Change. We can help you get clean and maintain a healthy pregnancy free from substance abuse.

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