Community Responds to Prenatal Drug Use
Ten percent of expecting women tested positive for illicit drug use in 2010 according to Le Conte Medical Center. Le Conte, along with East Tennessee’s Children’s Hospital and the Sevier Count Health Department have collaborated to form a group called MOMs, Moms on Meds. MOMs addresses the health implications of substance abuse in expectant women by providing resources to pregnant women suffering addiction.
Increasing numbers of babies are being treated for neonatal abstinence syndrome from the impact of the mother’s drug usage. Drugs, just any other dangerous materials a mother is exposed to, are passed through the placenta to the fetus. Substance abuse during pregnancy can severely impact the development of the fetus. For some substances, the unborn child is born addicted to the substances, and this requires life-saving interventions.
Intervening before labor and delivery can save the babies well being, improve the care giving abilities of the mother, and reduce medical costs. Substance abuse has become a crisis for our nation and community, and it is important that resources are made available. For more information, visit the MOMs community forum.
MOMs will host a meeting on Aug. 16 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at First United Methodist Church in Sevierville.