Most drugs of abuse are addictive. Addiction is a chronic, relapsing disease characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use despite negative consequences and by long-lasting changes in the brain. People who are addicted have strong cravings for the drug, making it difficult to stop using. Most drugs alter a person’s thinking and judgment, which can increase the risk of injury or death from drugged driving or infectious diseases (., HIV/AIDS, hepatitis) from unsafe sexual practices or needle sharing. Drug use during pregnancy can lead to neonatal abstinence syndrome, a condition in which a baby can suffer from dependence and withdrawal symptoms after birth. Pregnancy-related issues are listed in the chart below for drugs where there is enough scientific evidence to connect the drug use to negative effects. However, most drugs could potentially harm an unborn baby.
One of the most prevalent outcomes of abortion is shame and guilt that the mother suffers, sometimes for years. This is the most common postabortion syndrome symptom. A study in 2004 showed that just over 50% of American women who have had an abortion felt it was wrong to do so (Coleman, 4). This indicates that they probably did not want to have an abortion in the first place. Because they believe they are doing something wrong, they will have difficulty talking about it. Many women hide this secret. This self-protective measure is self-defeating, women need support and help if they are going to heal from the devastating effects of an abortion, yet many of them are too ashamed to talk about it.