One of the most prevalent health issues today is substance use disorder, which can lead to a number of psychiatric conditions like depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety disorders. In the United States, more than 13,000 people died from drug overdoses involving heroin. These disorders are highly disabling and show strong familial patterns. Research shows that by the time they reach young adulthood, children of substance-abusing parents are more than twice as likely to develop an alcohol or drug use disorder as their peers.
Substance abuse is a persistent issue that raises serious health issues for both mother and child. Women in their reproductive years (18–29) are at a greater risk of developing a substance use disorder.
This article will explain the impact of heroin addiction on mothers and children.
Women who use heroin during pregnancy tend to have poor nutrition because they do not eat enough or cannot afford healthy foods. They also tend to have poor prenatal care and lack access to prenatal care services such as drug treatment or counseling.
In terms of the children’s health, they are more susceptible than others to neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), which occurs when heroin enters the fetus through the placenta and causes the baby to develop dependence and later withdrawal symptoms.
Addiction can begin in the womb: if pregnant mothers use drugs like marijuana, heroin, or cocaine, the fetus or child growing within is highly likely to become addicted. These children are known to have multiple developmental issues.
Women who are addicted to heroin give birth to infants with lower birth weights and head circumferences. Infants born to heroin-dependent mothers occasionally require at least a week in the hospital due to symptoms like blotchy skin coloring (mottling), diarrhea, excessive sucking, fever, hyperactive reflexes, poor feeding, seizures, sweating, and vomiting. Sudden infant death (SIDS) can also affect children of heroin addict mothers.
The children of mothers struggling with heroin addiction are at a higher risk for a range of adverse outcomes that can deeply impact their emotional, social, and behavioral development, as well as their academic progress. These issues can arise as early as 2 to 3 years old when living with a parent with a history of substance abuse.
It’s important to acknowledge that mothers struggling with heroin addiction may face significant challenges in caring for their children. As a result, the children may suffer from developmental difficulties and struggle with self-esteem. These mothers may also face financial and emotional obstacles that can lead to a lack of bonding between parent and child, potentially leading to mental health issues such as depression and anxiety disorders in the long run. It’s vital to provide compassionate and supportive care to both the mothers and their children in these challenging situations.
Accepting help or being there to help a loved one can help you through difficult times. Even if you are pregnant and addicted to heroin, there is still hope, as there are many treatment options. Sometimes, being open and just talking about it will go a long way in healing. We at Christian’s Drug Rehab will assist you or a loved one in healing and becoming sober for life to have a healthy, happy, and lovely family. Please contact us if you have any questions about our recovery programs.