The number of pregnant women struggling with substance abuse has doubled since 2011, reaching four in every 1,000 pregnancies.
The shocking statistic comes from a recent Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) report, which defines “substance abuse” in infants as an instance where the newborn baby experiences some kind of withdrawal.
Dr. Lawrence Tucker, Medical Director of Laguna Treatment Hospital in Orange County, says that pregnant women with drug addictions are not receiving the help that they need to deliver healthy babies.
Part of the problem occurs when hospital staff refuse to admit women who are dealing with addiction because they do not know what to do with them and are not prepared to treat possible complications. Instead, they refer the pregnant women to other hospitals.
“There are not a lot of places that know what to do or how to treat this population,” said Tucker. Some 85 to 90 percent of pregnant women admitted to Laguna Treatment Hospital have an opioid or a drug dependent issue.
Tucker is a Diplomat of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and the American Board of Addiction Medicine and practices in pharmacological management of psychiatric disorders. He trained at UCLA Medical School in psychiatric and addiction medicine and ran the hospital at Chino State, where he encountered many people with substance abuse issues.
“The first thing, of course, is to… (continue reading)