Despite the best intentions of the doctors, the effort has led to health consequences across the United States. The growth in prescription drug misuse remains the most serious one. When the alternatives are ineffective, they are only meant to be used. Abuse and nonmedical use of pain relief medication have resulted in an outbreak of opioid abuse, leading to the rate of death and medication overdose. In the reports of pain, it did not reflect any decrease regardless of the marked growth that is above mentioned. Such has become the menace of opioid abuse that over deaths have been seen the recorded death toll in a year, in 2015.
Opioid abuse happens in many age groups and both genders. Although men are more likely to abuse prescription medications, the gap is now closing. Though the risk of creating opioid use disorder (OUD) is present in both females and males, sex differences can alter the expression of this condition. As a result of biological and social reasons, women stand susceptible and vulnerable to the signs of opioid abuse.
Women have been found to be more likely to be prescribed these drugs for a long-term use. In addition, the progression of dependency occurs at a rapid pace among girls. Every three minutes a woman is taken to the emergency department (ED) due to the misuse or abuse of prescription medication. Under more extreme circumstances, an intentional overdose of prescription drugs is involved in one in 10 suicides among girls.
Impact of opioids on moms and babies
The consequences of substance abuse, for example, that of prescription medications, among women is most extensive throughout their reproductive years. Studies suggest that opioid by women within this age group’s abuse is a major risk factor for them and their teens.
Indulgence in opioid abuse during the crucial phase of pregnancy increases the risk of imposing birth defects, such as congenital heart disease, neural tube defects and neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), one of the teens. These risks are significantly greater when a woman is exposed to opioids at the early phases of pregnancy.
The babies exposed to opioids also risk the development of withdrawal symptoms, cognitive impairment, and developmental problems, which are very likely to accompany them during their lifetimes. The newborns diagnosed with NAS encounter a range such as stuffy nose, sweating, rapid breathing, slow weight gain, tremors, nausea, persistent irritability and crying, sleep difficulties, and issues with breathing and feeding.
Generally, pregnant women using OUD are overdue in seeking medical intervention due to lack of awareness or stigma attached to drug abuse, especially by girls, and miss the sessions with doctors. This is extremely harmful because routine and ancient care are vital for the healthy development of the child.
Stemming the tide
Given that the chronicity of opioid addiction, it is very important to screen women, particularly those people who are pregnant, for OUD, in addition to their infants who could have been affected. These women might require assistance and are also at risk of developing postpartum depression.
Women who use opioids intravenously also risk the development of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) like human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis C. But, with the exclusion of HIV-positive pregnant women, those with OUD can also avail breastfeeding aid which encourages mother-infant bonding. This can effectively diminish withdrawal symptoms’ seriousness and time period.
Moreover, it is also crucial to implement steps for identifying the signs of a relapse. This would not only help a girl in getting the help she needs but may also significantly reduce the risks to the infant.
Recovery from opioid addiction
Opioid dependence has been termed as the worst drug disasters from the U.S. millions of women and men all over the country. It has come to be the main driver of deaths throughout all age classes. In the light of the findings, it is essential to educate patients about the consequences of opioid abuse. The medical practitioners should ensure to prescribe these medications for the treatment of chronic pain.
If you or your loved one is fighting an addiction to opioids, then it is crucial to seek help. Sovereign Health of Arizona understands the plight of a female suffering from opioid addiction and cannot stop the abuse despite being aware of its negative consequences.