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Why some doctors frown upon criminalizing drug use during pregnancy, although it is harmful

For decades, the most respected medical groups have opposed the criminalization of drug use during pregnancy because it may deter women from seeking prenatal care and addiction treatment. The risk of being arrested or locked in a mental institution, having your child taken away, is going to keep many expecting mothers from getting the care they need. However some states have still moved forward with these laws which criminalize drug use during pregnancy.

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For a drug addict that are simply fueling their addiction, going on the compulsive need to use. Their judgement is clouded by its addictive effects, ignoring the negative effects it may have on their health, even the health of their unborn child. While many women who are pregnant will turn for help in fighting addiction, others find themselves stuck and able to stop.

Criminalizing drug use during pregnancy is going to deter women from reaching out for help, regardless to if they are ready to stop using or not. The fear of incarceration, mandatory drug treatment or even worse, loosing their children can be frightening. Rather tan forcing these women to get the help they need it is important to make it readily available to them. Inpatient and outpatient treatment programs should be available to them to begin treatment as soon as they are pregnant.

With education on the dangers of using drugs during pregnancy, many women will make the right choice to seek help and stop using. It is important for government to push this information out there and not make these women any more fearful than they already are.

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Why some doctors frown upon criminalizing drug use during pregnancy, although it is harmful

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