4 Your Health: Treatment over punishment for pregnant drug users - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

4 Your Health: Treatment over punishment for pregnant drug users

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Tucson- The country's leading pediatricians believe women who use opioids during pregnancy need to be helped not punished.

The American Academy of Pediatrics argues that prosecuting and jailing mothers for drug use is not effective and may prevent women from getting help.

Instead, doctors recommend a preventive approach, such as prescription drug monitoring, routine drug and alcohol screening and treatment programs.

Experts said women must be able to discuss drug use with their doctor without the fear of punishment.

Opioid prescription puts children in danger

Young children whose mothers are prescribed opioids have an increased risk of overdose.

A new study looked at 103 children treated for an opioid overdose and whose mothers had a prescription for the powerful pain killers.

Half of the children were younger than two and the majority of cases involved codeine or oxycodone.

Cancer patients choosing savings over treatment

Many cancer survivors change their prescription for drugs for financial reasons.

Researchers at the American Cancer Society found nearly one-third of cancer patients chose to skip doses of their medications or switch to a cheaper drug,  compared to 21 percent of people without cancer.

The study also revealed people under 65 were the most likely to alter their medications because of cost.

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