Children and the Opioid Crisis
From infancy, children with parents abusing opioids put these kids immediately at risk. Besides prenatal exposure, parents become distracted by drugs and become unable to provide children with the necessities to succeed. While seeing opioids around the house, children and teens are susceptible to trying the medication. Then, these kids are more likely to misuse opioids. Researchers have pinpointed the effects to be devastating and bring lifelong consequences.
About Opioids and Children
Between the years 1998 and 2011, researchers conducted a nationwide inpatient sample analysis of those using opioids. The study found that dependence doubled among pregnant woman. Plus, opioid-dependent pregnant women are almost 5 times as likely to die during hospitalization and have longer hospital stays than expecting women who do not take opioids. Researchers discovered that babies born to opioid-dependent women are twice as likely to suffer from poor growth rates or be delivered stillborn. Also, 60-70% of newborns born from women who used opioids required at least 30 days of intensive withdrawal treatment.
Recent research is suggesting that even prescription opioids may cause permanent damage to a fetus as it’s developing. One of the largest studies published on opioid use including data from almost 230,000 pregnancies. These revealed that birth defects may occur more often when the mothers are dependent on prescription opioid painkillers. These side effects can last throughout a child’s entire life.
Protecting Children from Opioids
The government passed the Protecting Our Infants Act of 2015 and the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016. However, more measures need to be made for continued assistance. This epidemic stems far and wide. The current measures do not address the tragic plight of children and the special needs of pregnant women, parents, young and school-age children, and teens. Community-based prevention and treatment, including residential programs for parents and their children together, is essential. Criminal justice reforms also must recognize the special needs of parents and the importance and urgency of maintaining parent-child connections either at home or in foster care settings. Too many children of parents struggling with opioids will start life with odds stacked against them. Many do not know where to turn.
Filing an Opioid Lawsuit Could Protect Generations
Drug manufacturers lied to us about the addictive nature of opioids, and medical professionals prescribe them. Prescribing these drugs in high doses and for prolonged periods of time can lead to addiction and other devastating injuries. These include, among other adverse side effects, dependence, the craving to seek more drugs, use of other legal painkillers, use of other illegal drugs, and worst of all, overdose and death.
Doctors should only prescribe powerful opioid pain-killers such as fentanyl, oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine, or methadone (drugs with common names such as Vicodin, Percocet, and OxyContin) for short-term, intense pain, not to treat chronic pain conditions.
America’s opioid epidemic has affected, injured, or killed tens of thousands of Americans. It’s a national tragedy. All of these injuries could have been prevented. Drug manufacturers of opioid pain-killers have advertised their products as being less addictive than they actually are. Drug manufacturers have sometimes alleged that these drugs are safe to treat chronic pain. This marketing has lured scores of medication users and even doctors, into a false sense of security in using and prescribing such drugs.
This is why The Michael Brady Lynch Firm is passionate about helping those affected by the opioid epidemic. If you or a loved one became addicted to an opioid, overdosed, hospitalized from an overdose, or used an opioid during pregnancy and the baby has a birth defect, contact us today. We have decades of experience going against pharmaceutical companies and drug manufacturers that produce unsafe products.