Pregnancy & Substance Use
(Opioids Do Not Have Potential To Cause Malformations To An Embryo Or Fetus) "It is important to note that, contrary to alcohol, benzodiazepines and nicotine, opioids do not have teratogenic potential (3). Thus, special attention needs to be paid to dependence and abuse of legal substances and prescription drugs that can have severe consequences for the foetus and newborn, such as foetal developmental disorders or sudden infant death syndrome (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Center for Excellence, 2013; McDonnell-Naughton et al., 2012)."
(Risk and Treatability of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome) "Untreated opiate dependence in pregnant women is associated with many environmental and medical factors that contribute to poor maternal and child outcomes. Illicit opioid consumption is associated with a sixfold increase in obstetric complications such as low birth weight, toxaemia, third trimester bleeding, malpresentation, puerperal morbidity (2), foetal distress and meconium aspiration.
(Prosecution for Drug Use) "The Constitution does not provide an individual with the right to use drugs. Nevertheless, the Court in Robinson held that the Constitution prohibits the State from punishing an individual simply due to his status as a drug user.198 The State is only constitutionally permitted to punish individuals for an act, not their status.
(Cost Estimates for Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome) "Between 2000 and 2009, the incidence of NAS [Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome] among newborns increased from 1.20 (95% CI, 1.04-1.37) to 3.39 (95% CI, 3.12-3.67) per 1000 hospital births per year (P for trend < .001). Antepartum maternal opiate use also increased from 1.19 (95% CI, 1.01-1.35) to 5.63 (95% CI, 4.40-6.71) per 1000 hospital births per year (P for trend < .001).
(Estimated Prevalence of Current Alcohol Use Among Pregnant Women in the US) "Among pregnant women aged 15 to 44 in 2012-2013, an annual average of 9.4 percent reported current alcohol use, 2.3 percent reported binge drinking, and 0.4 percent reported heavy drinking. These rates were lower than the rates for nonpregnant women in the same age group (55.4, 24.6, and 5.3 percent, respectively). Current alcohol use in 2012-2013 was lower among pregnant women aged 15 to 44 during the second and third trimesters than during the first trimester (5.0 and 4.4 percent vs.
(Prosecution and Principle of Equality) "In addition to the principles laid out in Robinson,* punishing women for their behavior during pregnancy is precluded by the Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause’s principle of equality.