Jeff Sheppard Discusses How Our Laws May Be Leading to Injured Babies

Posted on: February 10, 2018
NEW JERSEY. We often hear about the dangers and impact of heroin and opioid addiction. The crisis affects almost every community. However, one hidden demographic hit particularly hard by the opioid epidemic are pregnant women. According to Mother Jones, 26,000 mothers suffer from opioid or heroin addiction. Babies born to addicted mothers are at greater risk of illness or injury. Women who inject heroin are more likely to give birth preterm. Babies may also be born with serious health issues. There is also a risk that the babies will be born with withdrawal. Unfortunately, laws may be making it more likely that babies will be born hurt and injured. Women who are pregnant who suffer from opioid addiction may have few resources available to them.

Addiction treatment centers may not be willing to accept pregnant women into treatment programs. Other women may be fearful to seek treatment or care because they worry that they will be prosecuted or that their children may be taken away from them when they are born. Certain medication can protect the fetus, but women may simply be too scared or lacking in resources to access it.

The lack of resources may be costing the state more when babies are born injured, ill, or suffering from withdrawal. Mother Jones reports that when opioid addicted mothers receive proper medical treatment and neonatal care, they can save social services as much as $5000.

The stigma associated with being pregnant and addicted can be crippling. Johns Hopkins Center for Addiction and Pregnancy offers women a way out. Women are offered a roof over their heads and their addiction is treated as an illness. They also receive the neonatal care they need to give birth to their babies in a healthy manner. Mothers are also given access to social workers who balance the benefits of staying with mom along with the risk of relapse. Rather than just taking away a child, social services considers all factors.

Unfortunately, there aren’t many programs like the Johns Hopkins Center for Addiction and Pregnancy. The cities and states that need this kind of medical care the most may be devoid of any options. For the babies born with withdrawal and severe health complications, this can mean a lifetime of medical care, social services, and other issues.

Drug manufacturers are not being held responsible for the babies who have been injured and hurt due to opioid use in this country. Perhaps it is time we held them responsible for the medical care these children desperately need? Jeff Sheppard is a qualified New Jersey personal injury attorney who is closely watching how the opioid epidemic is affecting individuals and the community. From driving while intoxicated car accidents to babies being born addicted, the opioid epidemic has been devastating. If you or a loved one has been injured due to another person’s drug use, or due to negligent medical care or treatment, you may have certain rights under the law. Visit Jeff Sheppard at to learn more.