Relapse. A word that strikes fear in the heart of anyone who loves someone battling addiction. A word filled with shame for those who have achieved sobriety and then began to drink and/or use again.
In the United States, over six-million women become pregnant every year. Approximately 9 out of 10 of those pregnant women take medication. About five percent of pregnant women use one or more substance that is addictive. Almost ten percent of pregnant women have smoked tobacco within the past month.
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Unfortunately, expectant mothers struggle with withdrawal just like any other person suffering with drug addiction. Often the withdrawal becomes too difficult, and withdrawal symptoms are relieved by turning again to the substance.
The fact that the United States is in the midst of an “Opioid Crisis” or an “Opioid Epidemic” is old news. Statistics are staggering when we look at the number of people who are addicted to opioids and the rising number of opioid deaths each year.
According to a National Institute on Drug Abuse article published in June 2019, 19.5 million females (or 15.4 percent) ages 18 or older have used illicit* drugs in the past year. *The term “illicit” refers to the use of illegal drugs, including marijuana according to federal law, and misuse of prescription medications.
Of all the substances that people abuse, only one fits into ALL the following criteria: socially acceptable, over-the-counter accessible, the cost is not prohibitive, legal for adults to purchase in all 50 states, and often viewed as harmless or a normal rite of passage into adulthood. This magic elixir is alcohol.