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The long term effects of drug abuse on the unborn fetus of a pregnant mother - Dissertation Example

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Drug abuse has emerged as a common problem in recent decades that has affected various spheres of life including pregnant women…
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The long term effects of drug abuse on the unborn fetus of a pregnant mother
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Download file to see previous pages It is believed that drug abuse by pregnant mothers causes maladaptive behaviors stemming from Axis II diagnosis including (but not limited to) bipolar disorders, borderline personality disorders, schizophrenia, conduct disorders, antisocial and learning disorders. Introduction Substance abuse is linked to a number of different physical and mental defects in the offspring of abusers. A large volume of research exists on the phenomenon and its various dimensions. The physical and mental disabilities endowed to the fetus of substance abusers are complex and have thus been categorized into various systems for closer examination. This research will largely be concerned with a systematic study of long term effects on the fetuses of substance abusers based on Axis II diagnosis alone. A large amount of rich material both of a qualitative and quantitative nature exists for the current research area. The current research will rely on the examination of existing literature since it has both quantitative findings and quantitative findings. This will allow the current research to utilize qualitative methods in order to derive qualitative findings that are supported by quantitative results. The current research could have been geared for a pure mixed methods research but the shortage of time and resources precludes any such methods. In order to investigate fetuses that are born from substance abusing mothers, a large sample set and an adequate amount of time is required. The typical time required for such research would be at least a few years since the born child would only display Axis II disorders when they reach their early learning years. However, the shortage of time and the lack of access to a large sample set ready to participate in quantitative research require that the current research be geared towards qualitative methods alone. As mentioned before, the provision of both qualitative and quantitative results also supports the contention that a comprehensive literature review would suffice for the current research. Background to Drug Abuse during Pregnancy Drug abuse refers to the consumption of drugs without direct medical advice or supervision. It is widely believed that drug abuse relates to the recreational abuse of mood altering substances but the use of any drugs for performance enhancement is also essentially drug abuse. Based on this classification, drug abuse involves drugs that are mood altering, performance enhancing as well as psychoactive in character. The use of any forms of drugs, whether legal or illegal, is considered as drug abuse as long as there is no medical justification for their use (Ksir & Ray, 2002). Another major feature of drug abuse is the dependence created by drug use. Drug abusers or substance abusers require continuous consumption of the subject drug in order to satisfy their body’s urges. The number of drugs being abused around the world is too large to be discussed within the framework of this research alone. However, the most common feature displayed by all used drugs is the tendency of the user to rely excessively on the subject drug for mood altering or performance enhancement purposes (Barrett, Meisner, & Stewart, 2008). The dependency of the drug abuser on the drugs causes the greatest problems during pregnancy because the drug abuser is unable to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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