If you’re from the state of Kentucky and have recently given birth or are pregnant, it’s important to understand the drug testing laws surrounding newborn babies. As a parent in Kentucky, you need to know what your rights are, as well as how the Department for Public Health (DPH) carries out its duties to protect the health and safety of your newborn.
In this blog post, we will discuss the realities of drug testing in Kentucky after delivery, as well as any possible legal repercussions if you refuse or fail to comply with DPH policies. Read on to learn more about this important topic and ensure that your baby is safe and sound.
Do They Drug Test Babies After Delivery?
Yes, drug tests are sometimes given to babies after they are born.
In Kentucky, this is usually done if the baby’s mother has a history of drug use or if there are concerns about the baby’s health. This is called risk-based testing. The test can be done with a simple urine sample or with a blood test.
All babies are not given drug tests, but if the doctor or other health professional suspects there is a possibility the mother has used drugs during pregnancy, they can order these tests along with other routine tests.
The most common type of drug test is a urine test, which can detect marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, PCP, and opioids. Blood tests are also sometimes used, which can detect alcohol, prescription drugs, and illegal drugs. Hair follicle tests are less common, but they can detect drugs that have been used in the past 90 days.
Babies can also be tested with tissue from the umbilical cord or other tissue samples.
Why Do Babies Get Drug Tested After Delivery in Kentucky?
There are a few reasons why babies may be drug tested after delivery in Kentucky.
One reason is that the doctor or other healthcare professional suspects the mother may have used drugs during her pregnancy. This can lead to health problems for the baby. Almost all illegal drugs pass from the mother to the baby.
Health problems for the baby can include:
- Low birth weight
- Cognitive Problems
- Birth defects
- Preterm birth
- Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome
- And many others
Another reason a baby might be drug tested is that the father may have used drugs prior to conception, which can also lead to health problems for the baby.
Additionally, if either parent has a history of drug use, the child may be more likely to develop substance abuse issues later in life.
How Is The Drug Test Conducted?
The drug test is generally conducted by taking a small sample of the baby’s meconium, or first stool. It can also be taken by though, blood, urine, or other fetal tissues This sample is then sent to a lab for testing. Results are typically available within a few days.
Drug testing newborns is controversial, and some states have laws prohibiting it. In Kentucky, however, hospitals are allowed to test newborns for drugs if they suspect the mother may be using drugs.
What Will Happen If Your Baby Tests Positive For Drugs
If your baby tests positive for drugs, it is likely that you will be referred to child protective services.
In Kentucky, it is mandatory that healthcare providers tell the authorities that your baby has tested positive for drugs, because the state defines this as child abuse.
You may be required to take a drug test, and if you test positive, you may be subject to criminal charges. Your child may also be placed in foster care or with another relative.
In some cases, you may be able to keep the child if you quickly enter into drug treatment. However, if you are using illegal drugs it is always best to start this treatment as soon as possible if you think you might become pregnant. Earlier treatment is always better.
How To Get Help If You’re Pregnant And Addicted
If you are struggling with addiction, it is important to seek help as soon as possible. Addiction can have a serious negative impact on your pregnancy, and it is important to get help before it is too late. There are many resources available to help you get the treatment you need.
You can contact your local health department or community health center for assistance. You can also contact groups like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous.
One of the best ways to get treatment is to contact an addiction center like ours. We can help you get sober and learn the techniques to stay that way. The earlier you come in and get help, the more likely it is that you will get to keep your child.
Pregnant And Addicted? Call Us For Help
If you are pregnant and have an addiction, or if you have an addiction and are at risk for pregnancy or would like to have a child, please give us a call for help. We can treat your addiction as well as your health, understand the roots of your addiction, and help you develop strategies to live a sober life.
Not all is lost. There is help out there and we are happy to help provide it. You can reach us at (888) 985-2207 and we will be happy to help you find the treatment you need.
- 14 years in the field