Born in the USA –

Feb. 5, 2018 – The risks are compounded by the fact that many of the women come from poverty, have burned bridges with family and friends, and lack basics such as housing, transportation, regular meals, and medical care. “You’re not eating a healthy diet because you don’t even have access to that—you’re not even thinking about food,” explains Hendrée Jones, an obstetrics professor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and the director of Horizons, a center for pregnant and parenting drug users. “Dehydration and poor nutrition can be associated with poor birth outcomes. It’s all of the life factors—of which prenatal opioid use is one.” There are strikingly few places for the women to turn. The stigma around drug use during pregnancy is so strong that many addiction treatment centers refuse pregnant women, creating what experts call “care deserts.” Some treatment centers even threaten to call the police or child protective services. What’s more, the only treatment typically available to indigent drug users are so-called gas-and-go clinics where patients get the one addiction medication offered, submit a cursory drug test every week or so, see a counselor about once a month, and never meet with a doctor.
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