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Pregnant women struggle to find suitable detox facilities Information

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Pregnant women struggle to find suitable detox facilities

When we consider those suffering from addiction, we may often think of disheveled individuals who will do anything in order to obtain their next 'fix', and we may feel sorry for that individual or anger towards them and how they are hurting themselves.  But it is probably less common for us to think about pregnant women and mothers who are suffering from addiction, and the impact it may have on their children.

Unfortunately it is the case that many women who use drugs or alcohol do not stop once they become pregnant or have children.  A recent report in Australia suggested that the rates of pregnant women who use drugs is in fact rising (Miles, Francis & Chapman) which is a worrying statistic.  While many of these women do want their children, in many cases, it is the unpleasant truth that pregnant women and parents who suffer from addiction, often do not have the same resources available to them in order to help them successfully stop misusing substances.

Although research suggests that access to a detox clinic could be beneficial to pregnant women (Daily, Argeriou, & Mcarty, 1999), it is likely to be more difficult for pregnant women and parents to find detox clinics suitable to their needs.  However, the effects if left untreated can be serious for the children of addiction sufferers.  A recent news story raised alarm, as they reported that in 2006 a young girl aged only 11 became Britain's youngest heroin addict, as the substance was supplied by her mother, and it was from watching her mother use it, that this poor young girl learnt how (Daily Mail, 2006).

This is only one of the tragic cases that highlights the importance of a detox clinic UK based and treatment centres that are able to provide specialist care for pregnant women or parents who suffer from addiction.  Providing specialist services in treatment centres will unfortunately not eradicate instances of parents with substance misuse issues, however it increases the chances of being able to prevent a child's life from becoming irreparably damaged.

Miles, M., Francis, K., & Chapman, Y.  Challenges for midwives: pregnant women and illicit drug use.  AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF ADVANCED NURSING Volume 28 Number 1.

Daily, M., Argeriou, M., & Mcarty, D.  (1999).  Substance abuse treatment for pregnant women: A window of opportunity.  Addictive Behaviors, 23, 239-249. 

Daily Mail.  (2006).  Britain's youngest addict given heroin by mother.  Sourced:  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-376133/Britains-youngest-addict-given-heroin-mother.html

Article published on 02/02/2020 by PCUG Addiction Treatment