Neo-natal Abstinence Syndrome

By: Michelle Bui, Grace Huynh, Catherine Pham, Kelly Salinas

A podcast about the neonatal abstinence syndrom and the biological, social, legal, and human effects of the opiod crisis.

By: Michelle Bui, Grace Huynh, Catherine Pham, Kelly Salinas

Listen Now:

[Read the Transcript instead](/audio/Bui- PODCAST SCRIPT_ NAS – BEYOND THE WOMB.pdf)

From the podcast:

“The biological symptoms of NAS are inseparable from the social context in which it exists. Treatment of NAS and social attitudes of drug addiction have not been viewed as a public health issue, rather an individual decision that goes against the biology of addiction and erases institutional violences that create the environment.

Poverty, violence, and psychological trauma can cause one to use opioids. Because these structural factors also make it difficult for mothers to treat their addiction and maintain sobriety, women with opioid addiction are caught in a perpetual cycle that prevents them from properly caring for their children’s needs. 13 What will happen to John and Katy? Will they be able to find their way out of this perpetual cycle? This seems unlikely with our current medical and legal system.

NAS exemplifies the interdependence of science and society. Stigmas create legislations that bleed into diagnoses and treatment plans. Moreover, women’s bodies are policed by those that are supposed to take care of her. Societal biases intersect at every point of this issue, even to the point of creating barriers to treatment and creating an unforeseeable end to the issue. But is the end really unforeseeable?

What if we stopped creating police forces out of our healthcare workers, and instead grant them the responsibility to care for the mother and infant’s health with her informed consent? If mothers were not worried about having their babies taken from them, more mothers would seek treatment for addiction and prenatal care.

Mothers need to be at the center of the NAS dialogue. We need to discuss how historical racist and sexist institutions work to punish certain women over others, and instead focus on treating the biological conditions that afflict the mother and caused the harm on the infant in the first place. Medical biases from stigmas need to end. Who dictates morality . . . with these changes, maybe John and Katy can have a happy ending after all?”

comments powered by Disqus
Based on and Kishan B