Prescription Abuse is a Growing Problem in SoCal Even Among the Youngest

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The prescription drug epidemic is not only destroying lives all over the country but doctors say right here in southern california.

Now, continuing in our health smart series, Cher Calvin is here with an in-depth look at the ‘tiniest of addicts’.

According to the American Medical Association, there has been a sharp and dramatic increase of prescription drug abuse in pregnant women making newborns the new generation of drug addicts.

Last night we introduced you to a pregnant mother trapped in the throws of opiate addiction … Now, what doctors expect for her unborn baby.

“I never would have thought I would have picked up a drug while I was pregnant,” says Shaina Kenny.

But with two kids at home and another one on the way – Kenny did … her prescription drug of choice – roxycodone, also called ‘Roxies’.

“It wasn’t like I was going out on the streets buying heroin or cocaine. I thought is was OK because I’m getting them prescribed. This is medicine.”

For years, the 24-year old was unable to break free from the stranglehold of opiates – until the small voice of her three year old daughter inspired the pregnant mother to seek help.

“We were leaving to go run an errand one night which is what we called it,” Kenny says, “and she looked at me and started crying and said I don’t want you to run errands no more and I turned the car around and went home.”

After checking in to Forterus rehab, Kenny’s under gone extensive doctor visits and ultra-sounds – so far, all test results reveal a healthy baby.

“For anyone out there suffering from dependency there is help out there you don’t have to be like this, says Kenny.

Doctors at Cliffside Malibu rehabilitation also warn mothers can not only pass their opiate dependence on while pregnant, but also after giving birth.

“The opiates can be passed through breast milk and there are dangers of opiate dependence in the child,” Damon Raskin, MD from Cliffside Malibu Rehab.

And addiction experts insist just because it may be prescribed by your doctor – doesn’t make it safe.

“Opiates are more dangerous than heroin or cocaine combined. More people die from opiate addiction than from both those combined,” Richard Taite, Cliffside Malibu

The experts at Cliffside Malibu also told us its imperative to treat these mothers psychologically not just physically.

We will also keep you updated on the health of Kenny’s baby.

— Cher Calvin, KTLA News

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