Pregnant Moms Need Online Drug Class

by Mike Miller December 17, 2011

Just last week I blogged about the horrible withdrawal symptoms suffered by newborns of moms addicted to prescription medication.

Many states, including Oklahoma are looking to create a committee to study whether stronger laws and policies should be adopted to deal with women who use illegal drugs while pregnant.

Does it take a pickup load of dead babies before we decide to act?  This is a horrible situation where addicted babies enter the world feeling absolutely miserable.

Currently, physicians are granted discretion in deciding whether new mothers and their newborns should be tested for illegal drugs and state child welfare workers have discretion in determining whether an infant should be removed from a mother following a positive drug test. Among issues that need to be considered are:

  • Should states pass legislation requiring mandatory drug testing of all newborns?
  • Should they pass legislation requiring removal from maternal custody, at least temporarily, of a child who tests positive?
  • Should a positive drug test for a new mother be considered the same as the infant testing positive in determining whether the child should be removed?
  • Should improperly used prescription drugs be considered the same as illegal street drugs in determining whether an infant should be removed?
  • Should states amend legislation that allows criminal prosecution for exposing children to illegal drugs to include exposing a fetus to illegal drugs?
  • Should an infant who tests positive for alcohol or illegal drugs automatically be classified as deprived or a victim of child abuse?

From my perspective, pregnant mothers are committing child abuse by continuing to abuse prescription medication.  This is no different than if they were drinking alcohol to excess, smoking marijuana or using harder drugs.  If this problem persists, perhaps a drug test on all pregnant mothers becomes part of the checkups.

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