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Why Are More Pregnant Women Addicted To Opioids?

The opioid epidemic has been ravishing our country and many parts of the world for years. Within the last three years, numbers of opioid related deaths in America have risen drastically, providing startling statistics. From 2015-2016 more than 100,000 people died from an opioid overdose. More specifically, that is the people who were reported and classified with opioid overdose deaths. Potentially thousands more went unreported and unclassified. Research into the data of the opioid epidemic has revealed trends among certain populations, most recently including pregnant women.

A report from the Centers for Disease Control analyzed data on women and their use of opioids during labor and delivery. From 1999 to 2014, opioid use as more than quadrupled for women in this specific category. Meaning, potentially millions of children are being born with opioids in their systems. Exposure to opioids in utero can have damaging effects to unborn and newly born children, as well as their mothers. Should a mother be addicted to opioids, babies can be born severely chemically dependents upon opioids and have to suffer through the nasty withdrawal symptoms in Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome. Forced into addiction and having to suffer such physical trauma and mental distress at an infantile age primes a young baby’s nervous system for trauma, creating lifelong effects.

Unfortunately, the study doesn’t find any causation for the increase in opioid use among present women, nor does it pinpoint any specific trends. The answer to the question “Why” when it comes to increased opioid use is one that is enraging Americans across the country. Each individual has their unique “why” as to the circumstances which contributed to their opioid addiction or opiate addiction. However, there is a general answer which is perhaps the most frustrating of all. Opioid medications are highly addictive and doctors who prescribe them have been either fully aware of this or ignorant to this fact for decades. Moreover, regulations regarding prescription dosages and quantity have only just begun to change, limiting prescription amounts.

Largely, a disregard toward trauma contributes to perpetual addiction cycles. Though much of the opioid epidemic has been caused by chemical dependency alone, a contributing factor to the predisposition of addiction are trauma and traumatic experiences. Trauma can be known, through direct, secondary, or even tertiary experiences, and trauma can be unknown, being intergenerational or in utero.

You can walk through your trauma. The Guest House Ocala offers residential treatment programming for trauma, addictions, and related mental health issues. Call us today for information on our customized programs and availability: 1-855-483-7800