Not Pregnant Substance Abusers Should Undergo Treatment Or Criminalization

943 WordsApr 22, 20164 Pages
Introduction Among social service professionals, a major question continues to present itself. This question consists of whether or not pregnant substance abusers should undergo treatment or criminalization. In regards to Lester, Andreozzi, and Appiah’s research, the medical definition of disease is: “any deviation from or interruption of the normal structure or function of any part of an organ or system (or combination thereof) of the body that is manifested by a characteristic set of symptoms and signs, whose etiology, pathology, and prognosis may be known or unknown (Lester, Andreozzi, & Appiah, 2004).” Looking at this medical definition of disease and the elusiveness that it portrays creates more of a debate concerning this particular matter. A large portion consider these women to be careless, child endangering individuals who should be punished for their actions. On the other hand, others consider these woman to be in need of help and treatment. Some question whether the fetus is considered an actual human being with rights or just a part of the mother’s right to choose. Looking at Lester, Andreozzi, and Appiah’s research, many of the states are taking a turn toward treatment rather than punishment. In regards to Cal. Pen. Code 1174.4, pregnant or parenting women with children under the age of six with an established background connected to substance abuse are eligible to enter a drug treatment program, coupled with one year of transition services under intensive
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