Drug Addiction Pregnancy:
Drinking During Pregnancy--- No Amount Is Safe
By Ned Wicker
Drinking alcohol is very much a part of our American culture, so much so that women who are about to become pregnant, or who have just learned that they are pregnant, want to know the risks of drinking while they are carrying their baby.
The hazards are many and when considering the use of alcohol during pregnancy, women need to be aware of the possibilities that their baby might suffer a lifetime of physical and emotional calamity as a result of mom’s drinking.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) is a combination of physical and mental birth defects and is the most severe consequence of drinking. FAS is the worse combination of mental retardation and other physical defects effecting the heart and other organs, as well as facial features.
FAS (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome)
FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders)
ARBD (Alcohol-Related Birth Defect)
ARND (Alcohol-Related Neurodevelopmental Disorders)
Drinking also increases the risk of miscarriage or a pre-mature birth, which is before 37 weeks. Alcohol consumption during pregnancy can also cause a stillbirth. Binge drinking is also a serious hazard, as studies have shown that women who binge drink three or more time while carrying have a 56 greater chance for a stillbirth than do women who do not binge drink. Likewise, moms who consume five or more drinks a week are at a 70% greater risk of a stillbirth than non-drinkers.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is entirely preventable. Don’t drink. Unlike other birth defects, which cannot be helped, FAS is inflicted on the baby by a drinking mother. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that between 1000 and 6000 babies are born each year with FAS, characterized by a small size at birth, which usually means that the child never catches up to his/her proper size.
Babies with FAS may display physical signs, such as smaller eyes and a thin upper lip, marked by smooth skin between the nose and lips instead of the normal groove that healthy babies will have. Their internal organs may not function properly, and FAS babies may have a small, abnormally formed brain, which leads to mental and behavioral challenges.
FAS children do not outgrow their challenges. These children are at risk for mental problems and serious behavioral issues, even criminal issues. Moreover, the effects of the alcohol last for a lifetime. Babies do not grow out of their problems, and as they develop into teenagers, life does not get better.
Not all babies have the full effects of FAS, however three times the number of babies with full FAS are born with some characteristics of FAS. These are called Alcohol-Related-Birth-Defects (ARBD) or Alcohol-Related Neurodevelopmental Disorders (ARND).
The babies born with ARBD have defects in major organs, such as kidneys, heart, liver, eyes, ears and bones. Borth defects under the ARND classification deal with developmental issues, such as leaning disabilities, attention, speaking, memory, problem solving and psychological disorders. Babies with these two disorders do not show the physical signs of FAS. Sometimes the term Fetal Alcohol Effect (FAE) is used to describe symptoms that are less severe than FAS.
Binge drinking is a factor for FAS, as is having seven or more drinks per week, but problems can occur even if mothers drink much less. But what about after the mother delivers the baby? Is if OK to drink then? It may not be.
Mothers who are breast feeding need to be aware that small amounts of the alcohol they drink are going to wind up in the breast milk.
While there are not generally the severe consequences, like those of FAS, babies who breast feed might experience delays in the development of motor skills, such as crawling and walking. Also, mothers who drink may also experience problems in ejecting milk from their breast.
Again, there is no cure for FAS. If the condition is diagnosed early enough, within the first six years of life, and if the child is brought up in a stable, nurturing home, there is the possibilities that some of the most severe behavioral consequences of FAS may be lessened.
If you care concerned for your own health, or if you have a drinking problem and want to get help, there are resources in the community to assist you. Your doctor is a good place to start, or if you do not have a primary physician, call a local hospital and get an assessment.
Alcoholics Anonymous is an excellent source and they have the answers to most any question you may have. You community might have a crisis intervention hot-line, and the people there can probably connect you with a resource.
If you are already having difficulties with drinking, please get help. Call a drug and alcohol treatment center and give yourself an opportunity to regain control in your life.
Drug Addiction Pregnancy Summary:
Drug Addiction Pregnancy is a very serious condition and honest communication between mother and doctor is essential to avoid major problems for the baby.
Drug Addiction Pregnancy if heavy alcohol use is involved the baby may suffer from Fetal alcohol syndrome FAS.
Drug Addiction Pregnancy can also cause Alcohol-Related Birth Defect ARBD, which children tend to suffer from and not out grow.
Drug Addiction Pregnancy should be avoided to avoid hurting the unborn child.
It Starts Slowly, Then Swallows You Whole!
It began in 9th grade. In early September of grade 9 I would
have never believed I would end up where I am. Weed was like crystal
meth to me and any other drug I would have never fathomed being appealed
to. I'm not telling you this story to brag or be judged, I’m telling
you this story to leer you away from choosing to do drugs or motivate
you to quit before it becomes uncontrollable.
In October, I first tried smoking weed. I can't say it was my drug of choice, it made me feel lazy, slow and dumb. My friends seemed to like it but I didn't.
Lots of people when they try weed and don't like it they turn quick and go the right way towards a more successful life without drug abuse, but that wasn't me, not as time went on anyway. For awhile it was all about the reefer, I wasn't appealed to it and I wasn't pressured into smoking it.
Sometimes I did it for the fun of it, and sometimes I did it because everyone else was, and sometimes I was the bystander. There was always that voice in my mind a voice I lost, that told me to get out of there, but I put it on the back-burner.
Started using prescription drugs
February I was using a lot of prescriptions, taking 15-20 Tylenol a day
to get some sort of worthless high, but it made me feel cool, like I
had something to brag about.
And then there was ecstasy. A friend that became dear to my heart. But in reality ecstasy is anything but you're friend. It started out slow; I didn’t jump into it like my friends did. It started out one pill a month then one pill every two weeks, soon one wasn't enough so I took two.
6 months later I was doing pills everyday almost 4 or 5 at a time during the week and 10 at a time on the weekends. I came to school high, went home high, partied high, and slept high. At the time the rush is what made me happy, the euphoria kept me up. But the night's sobriety was forced because I was either broke or the city was dry were the worst.
When you're high life is easy, but as soon as you're sober, death is more appealing than life. Depression sunk in harder than ever possible. I was angry all the time, angry at the world and angry at the people who couldn’t give me my drugs. I hated my parents and slammed the doors in their face because the minute they would ask me what's wrong with me lately I would vaguely realize the person I stared at in the mirror.
My personality was gone. My sympathy and happiness were gone. The only happiness I had was the synthetic doses the drugs gave me. For most people ecstasy is a phase. For me it was a year long phase.
The ecstasy stopped because I got bored but I moved on in October when I was introduced to "bigger and better" things, these things being cocaine in both hard and soft forms. A drug I didn't need to spend money on. I was a pretty girl which meant lots of free cocaine.
I didn't ever use myself to get it by any means but my smile and charm got me what I wanted. But what they gave me wasn't enough so I used my pay cheques to get even more.
Eventually I had done so much partying till 10am that I quit my job. Which left me broke, but I still had drugs around. I ended up running from home, and nearly failing my classes. Finally I moved to Medicine Hat with my dad for awhile which forced me to quit drugs.
I went back and forth between being high and being sober
But each week I visited home I went
twice as hard every single day. It was a whiplash of hardship. It was
one or two weeks of being high and then back home to two months of being
My dad knew everything having thorough experience in what I was doing there wasn't much you could hide from him.
In June, I decided to move back home. I played my smile and happiness up like a movie star. I manipulated my parents into believing I was changed and sped up the process of my bedroom being finished early simply so I could sneak out the basement window.
For four months life was perfect. I waited till 10 to sneak out and did my drugs. Everyone got along because I was getting what I wanted and they thought they're perfect daughter was sleeping away. But as most parents do, they caught on. When the security system was installed and rules were grounded I lashed out. I left home again.
Moving out was the best thing that could happen to me. One of my best friends stuck by me through everything but she realized something was wrong with my drug abuse so she encouraged me to go to AA meetings.
I'm not an alcoholic so I thought this was a ridiculous idea, like some sort of anger management course, I saw those meetings in movies and it just looked silly to me but I gave it a whirl.
After a few meetings I realized I was not alone. But what I also realized was that everything was my fault and that I was an addict. Admitting you're an addict is not an easy thing to do.
I was afraid because the stories people shared and the bad qualities these people had had in themselves I realized reflected on me. I was scared so I ran away.
But a month later I was back, finding I missed the place and the people that were there. I longed the feeling I had the first day walking out that door knowing for tonight I would be sober.
I started to grow up in the meetings
Slowly but surely the
meetings grew on me and I grew up. I got over myself and learned to
deal with my addiction. I realized my mom doesn't hate me, all she ever
did was try to help me, the only reason I ever hated her was because she
pointed out my flaws and made me realize I was a person I didn’t want
I recently moved back in with my mom and I don’t think I could be happier to tell you I have curfews and boundaries.
Drugs take them never give you need to remember that. What they take is love, emotions, happiness; family and anything you have ever genuinely cared for in you're life.
Drugs give you depression, anger, you lay awake at night wondering what the hell you're doing with you is life or who that person is in the mirror. You go to sleep hoping it's all a dream but you wake up realize its not and go use some more to hide from the harsh realities of who you are and who you have become.
Drugs strip you of everything you will and have ever loved. People fall away from you and you can't understand why. When I look around the parties I go to and see new young girls and boys come into the party houses I've been in for years and seeing them stuff bills up their noses it’s depressing.
This is not a life you want, believe me. So I hope this helps anyone who is, was or will become an addict and motivate you to quit or not even try it. The stories I read as a child and now about drugs being horrible, they aren't unrealistic or dramatized, they are true.
Drug addiction is only something you will understand if you're in it, so I hope you never have to understand why I am the way I am.