Rise in Prescription Drug Addictions Means More Babies in Danger

Health & Wellness on 07.28.11

 

At the Susan B. Anthony Recovery Center in Florida, Marsha Currant oversees programs that help wean pregnant women off the drugs they're addicted to. For more than a decade, that meant assisting the women in a battle to break away from crack cocaine -- but in the last few years, a different type of addiction has taken over: prescription drugs.

Currant talked to CNN Presents about the rise in prescription drug addiction -- overdose deaths have shot up more than 200 percent in the last eight years, says the site, and, more than 600 babies were born addicted to pills in just the first six months of 2010. 

Mothers who are addicted while their children are still in the womb face an impossible choice: If they get help, they could have their babies taken away; if they don't seek medical assistance, the baby could be harmed by withdrawl symptoms even before birth. The Recovery Center helps the mothers resist the drugs without harming their babies any further -- and without the threat of losing them. 

"We wanted to have a place where women didn't have to chose," says Currant, "between getting treatment and having their children go into foster care."

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