30 January 2017

How Addiction Treatment Can Benefit Anyone with a Severe Addiction

For an individual who has regularly been abusing drugs, often the only way that he or she will be able to overcome is to go through addiction treatment. In some cases, the addict will be so dependent on the drugs that the idea of going through any form of treatment to overcome their problem will seem like a punishment, and they will avoid it at all costs. Sometimes this is because the affected person is simply not ready to give up the drug that they have been abusing for so long. Others will jump at the chance to make a better life for themselves; however, it is not always that simple as going through addiction treatment can be challenging, and some addicts will stop trying when the going gets tough. One mother who evidently did not want to beat her addiction is Alexandra Laird. She frequently abused heroin while pregnant, and was ordered to complete addiction treatment to minimise the potential harm that could come to her unborn child.

Heightened Risk

Twenty-one-year-old Alexandra Laird is a heroin addict who has been held in Birmingham Hospital, Alabama on a court order since September 2016 after her first-born child was born with a drug addiction. She has recently given birth to her second child, and it was this pregnancy that was the primary reason she was being held in the hospital. It was basically to protect the unborn child from developing an addiction like its older sibling. During her trial in September 2016, the court was told that Laird would abuse heroin up to three times per day, and thus was putting her unborn baby at a heightened risk of being born hooked on drugs. She had been initially arrested in March 2015 on charges of child endangerment.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Numerous tests were run on the child after its birth and traces of amphetamines and opiates were found in her system; the baby started to suffer withdrawal symptoms in the days following her birth, which was extremely distressing for the newborn. Had Laird gone through addiction treatment before or while she was pregnant with her first-born child, the baby could have been spared the pain of going through withdrawal symptoms and having to be weaned off the drugs she was dependent on from birth. The withdrawal symptoms that Laird’s baby girl went through would have been painful and uncomfortable for her, and it would have been difficult for medical staff to see this small child writhing in pain.

Withdrawal symptoms vary depending on the drug ingested, how long the individual has been abusing the drug, as well as some other factors, so it is near impossible to predict what withdrawals someone will face and how this will affect them.

Serious Concerns

Danny Reid, Pleasant Grove police lieutenant, pleaded with Jefferson County Circuit Judge David Hobdy that he not grant bond for Laird as there were serious concerns for the welfare of her unborn child. This request was granted, and Laird was then ordered to be held in the hospital to undergo addiction treatment until her second child was born. This was to ensure that the baby was at minimum risk of developing an addiction or any complications to do with her mother’s excessive drug use.  Dr Peter Lane, medical director of the Addiction Recovery Program at UAB, along with a team of medical professionals, made the decision to keep Laird at the hospital instead of sending her to jail as they believed this to be the most beneficial course of action at the time.

Continued Addiction Treatment

Laird’s lawyer, Thomas J. Huseman, has put in a request for Laird to be granted a bond. In this application, Huseman insisted that his client will continue to go through addiction treatment under the medical supervision of Dr Lane. A final ruling is yet to be made, but police will not completely disregard the idea of granting bail now that Laird’s second child has been born. However, the young mother is due to have another court hearing in March to address the child endangerment charges that have been placed against her.

Overcoming an Addiction

You could have concerns about either yourself or a loved one in regards to an addiction and may not know how to tackle this issue on your own. If this is the case, get in touch with us here at UKAT. We specialise in providing effective addiction treatment to ensure that our patients get the best chance at overcoming their addiction and going on to then lead a happy, healthy life. If you would like more information or have any queries, then do not hesitate to contact us today and we will do everything we can to assist you further.

Source:  Heroin addict, 21, gives birth after being held in hospital since SEPTEMBER to prevent her from harming her unborn child with drugs (Daily Mail)

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*Please contact your chosen centre for availability

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