The study was intended to determine the impact of drug use on the health of a patient. To do this, the records of fifty pregnant drug using women and fifty non-drug using women were used. The pregnancy was observed from the first day upon which records would be obtained. In the study, the main concerns were complications that arose during the pregnancy and at birth in both drug users and non-users, and number of hospital visits that were recorded for both mother and child after birth.
In this study, it was found that about 7 percent of women who used drugs had complications in their pregnancy. On the other hand, only about 4 percent of non-drug users experienced similar issues. The rate of birth issues was also found to be higher among drug users. It was found that about 4 percent of drug users had problems at birth. Problems included pre-term delivery, still births, miscarriage and sudden infant death syndrome. On the other hand, it was found that only about 2 percent of similar cases were found among non-drug users.
After childbirth, the number of visits made by the children to the health facility within six months after birth was calculated. It was found that children of drug using parents made an average of nine visits to the health center before they were six months old. This number exempted the visits that were allocated to normal health checks but did not exempt checks associated to birth defects and complications. On the other hand, non-users made only made an average of 3 visits before the babies were six months old.
Another aspect of drug use and pregnancy that was investigated was the impact of drug use as the pregnancy progressed. Those who used drugs throughout were compared with those who used drugs through their early months of pregnancy. It was found that the number of complications increased with continued drug use. It was also found that those who began taking risky substances during the later months of their pregnancy exposed their children to greater risk than those who took drugs for the first few months and then stopped.
The data above shows that the use of drugs by pregnant women is harmful for both the child and the mother. Those women who took drugs during pregnancy risked a higher chance of complications during pregnancy and at birth. They needed more support both during pregnancy and at birth. Avoidance of alcohol during the final months of pregnancy also reduced the risk. Indeed, it was discovered that those who got pregnancy complications avoided drugs in the future hence reducing the chances of birth defects and birth complications.
The information was not verified. It was obtained from hospital records and specifically as given by patients. This made it easier for the women to lie about their use of drugs. The data however shows a clear cut line between the two data sets and is therefore more likely to be correct.
The results show that those who stopped using drugs in the later stages of their pregnancy were at a lower risk than those who used them throughout. This underlines the importance of counseling and education to pregnant women on the risks associated with certain drugs during pregnancy. It also shows the importance of identifying such risks earlier in the pregnancy so that corrective measures would be taken.
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