When women use drugs during and after pregnancy it can have very harmful effects on the infant. A

2600 WordsApr 23, 201911 Pages
When women use drugs during and after pregnancy it can have very harmful effects on the infant. A child can experience a wide range of problems with their physical health, motor skills, cognitive development, and behavioral and social development (Coles, 2010). The reason why drug use affects the fetus and not just the mother is because the toxins from the drugs can permeate the placenta. Drugs that are considered harmful agents are called teratogens (Ashford & LeCroy, 2013) and all of the drugs discussed in this paper are considered to be teratogens. Since the fetus is sensitive to teratogens at all stages of development it is vital for mothers to refrain from using any dangerous substance in an effort to increase the likelihood of…show more content…
External factors include poverty, feeling isolated, participating in violent crimes, already being part of the drug lifestyle, or having an unstable family or social life. Internal factors include not having good coping skills, suffering form depression or other mood disorders, boredom, or they could be dealing with anger issues (Coles, 2010). With long-term use a person may become an addict. Once this occurs the ability to stop using becomes even more difficult, the situation becomes more severe and this puts the fetus at greater risk. Controversial Solutions Regardless of why a pregnant woman would use drugs it remains true that she is putting an innocent fetus at risk. One way to deal with this issue is to have mandatory drug testing of pregnant women. This is somewhat of a controversial subject since the rights of both of the women and the child need to be considered. It would be unethical to drug test a person without their consent. If a medical professional were to do this it could jeopardize the relationship. If the women looses trust in her doctor she may simply stop seeking prenatal care altogether (Ashford & LeCroy, 2013). Another issue to take into consideration is who would be drug tested and would it be considered a form of discrimination. Studies have shown that lower class, African American women are more likely to be tested than middle class white women. The U.S.
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