Serenity Warns About Dangers of Drug Abuse When Pregnant During National Birth Defects Prevention Awareness Month

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January is Birth Defects Prevention Awareness Month and Serenity Recovery Center educates and advocates for healthier children through addiction rehabilitation.

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Tobacco, marijuana smoke, alcohol, illicit drugs and prescription drugs all may impact birth outcomes.

Birth defects are not always preventable, but in many cases they are. Birth defects can affect a child in ways that are obvious to themselves and others, or not so obvious but still serious (such as a heart defect). Birth defects affect 1 in 33 babies every year in the United States, and it is estimated that birth defects cause 1 in 5 infant deaths.

Each January the National Birth Defects Prevention Network sponsors National Birth Defects Prevention Month. The theme for January 2017 is “Prevent to Protect: Prevent Infections for Baby’s Protection.” Educational materials this month focus on preventing infections in both mother and baby that may contribute to birth defects.

Serenity Recovery Center wishes to offer hope and inspiration for prevention of birth defects through education and effective treatment of addiction.

Tobacco, marijuana smoke, alcohol, illicit drugs and prescription drugs all may impact birth outcomes. Smoking of any kind may contribute to miscarriage, still birth, low birth weight or birth defects. Experts say that no amount of alcohol, at any point in pregnancy, is safe for an unborn child. The most familiar negative outcome of alcohol use during pregnancy is fetal alcohol syndrome, but such conditions have a wide range of outcomes, so are more commonly referred to now as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) FASDs affect as many as 2 to 5 % of school children.

A major cause for alarm in recent years is the rise of opiate use/abuse in the United States. Pregnant women and infants have also been affected. In 2003 an estimated 5,000 babies were born addicted to drugs in the United States. Just 10 years later, in 2013, that number grew to over 27,000 (a more than 500% increase). Opioids account for the majority of that increase.

Effective treatment for addiction, the earliest possible in pregnancy, may help improve outcomes. Even for those unable to quit addictive substances during pregnancy, management of the disease during pregnancy, and immediate care for an infant after delivery may improve outcome for both mother and child.

If you or a loved one are dependent upon drugs or alcohol, or to learn more about addiction, and get help, call 1-855-218-3775 or visit the Serenity Recovery website: http://www.serenityrehab.org

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Derry Hallmark
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