- Discuss the complexity of working with clients who are also pregnant. How would a pregnancy change your approach to treatment? What issues might come up for you as a counselor? How might you talk about these risks with your client? How would you respond if your client continued to heavily drink or use substances while pregnant?
While working with a client who is pregnant, they may not have their child’s best interest in mind and this individual needs to know the risks involved with continued substance abuse. Since the parent may not understand the consequences their substance abuse will cause their child I would feel obligated to discuss this information because this individual is putting others at risk of serious injury or death. I have worked with a few adolescents who have been pregnant, and I have noticed I become more upfront because I its not just their lives they are disturbing. Many times these patients of mine do not eat right either and will almost live off of PB&J sandwiches, and when this happens I encourage prenatal vitamins to ensure the unborn child is getting the nutrients he/she needs. I do not think my patients have the understanding of what they put into their body also alters early life development, so I stress the importance of stopping drug use and eating right.
While counseling pregnant individuals it is important to set feelings of anger or frustration aside and work with them so they can understand implications of actions. I discuss the risks with my client/patient by using various educational tools such as videos, books, articles, and their doctors. Since this is an urgent matter I find myself becoming less patient because they are risking another life. Many of my patients do not realize that even cigarette use can cause lasting effects on their child. When these situations arise at work we take a multidisciplinary approach consisting of a doctor, social worker, nurse, and mental health workers.
- What does it mean to you to advocate for clients and challenge bias? How do you feel about taking on that role? Is that a role you expected to take on as a counselor? Are there some groups for whom it would be harder or easier for you to advocate for? Does that reflect on your own beliefs and values? How so?
I believe that my role is to support and advocate my clients on an individual basis, while educating them on potential assumptions they might hold. My goal is to do no harm, and that is essential when an underage patient of mine is pregnant. I aim to show my clients/patients that I am willing to help in any way that I can, so many times that involves disclosing information they might be unaware of. I try to support my patients in any way I can, and express that I have both their best interest, and their unborn child’s best interest. Because of this I feel it becomes necessary to bring awareness to the presenting issue of continued substance abuse while pregnant.
It does become difficult working with adolescents who abuse drugs while pregnant because it seems selfish to deny a child a full and healthy life. These unborn children are helpless, and have no way to defend themselves, so it is up to the treatment staff to get our clients continued use under control to ensure a healthy baby. By educating my client/patient on the risks involved is the most important aspect, and if this pregnant woman wants a good life for her baby, hopefully she will make an effort to ensure her baby is healthy.
- Using the Blog References, find and specifically report on at minimum of four websites that you could use for information regarding gender and/or LGBT issues in addictions counseling. Give a minimum of one paragraph of explanation for each site listed.
The National Advocates for Pregnant Women (NAPW) aims at protecting the rights and human dignity of all women. NAPW is involved with court challenges of drug policies and provides litigation support in cases across the country. NAPW is trying to establish separate legal rights to hold women criminally liable for the outcome of their pregnancies, and to expand the drug war to women’s wombs. They believe that addiction is a public health issue and that treating drug abuse in pregnancy as a crime undermines the health of both woman and child.
This website displays easy to read charts of substance abuse rates among pregnant women. The website explains prenatal drug exposure and how it has been associated with long-term effects on exposed children. The site also breaks down different drugs and explains potential effects on the children. The website also explains how some medications can help children live healthier lives, resulting in shorter infant hospital stays. There are also behavioral treatments where women are given incentives to remain abstinent.
This website illustrates how drugs affect pregnant women, as well as how they affect the unborn baby. This site does a good job at explaining how drugs can cause problems throughout pregnancy, and how a women’s drug abuse can affects the placenta, which provides nourishment to the fetus. This site has many side tabs where one can gain facts about almost every drug and the consequences of using during pregnancy. There are also many support tabs with information on how pregnant women can get the help they need to have healthy babies.
This website seems to have all the bases covered from what constitutes substance abuse, the effects of each substance, prognosis, differential diagnoses, screening, management and treatment,
And care after detoxification. I found many interesting statistics from this site and found it shocking that of the 4 million women who become pregnant each year, 20% smoke cigarettes, 19% drink alcohol, 20% use legal drugs, and 10% use illegal drugs during pregnancy. I think this website puts this topic into perspective, and illustrates that drug abuse during pregnancy is a serious issue.