Addiction Treatment in Pregnant Women
Addiction alone is a difficult and dangerous path. Even more so for pregnant women who find themselves addicted to substances. Like most things ingested, drugs can easily pass through the mother’s thin placental membrane and umbilical cord directly to the fetus. Also, most drugs are present in breast milk. Thus, it is often both the mother and child that are harmed during active addiction. However, addiction treatment clinics are available to care for pregnant women.
Addiction During Pregnancy Can be Double Trouble
Being in addiction during pregnancy can wreak havoc on both the body and mind. Not only is pregnancy often a difficult emotional journey, but substance use can significantly alter the physical health of both the woman and unborn child. Moreover, pregnant women in addiction are more vulnerable to violence, crime, abuse, mental illness and disease. It can also be detrimental to developing infants. For instance, serious complications can include miscarriage and stillbirth. Risks for pregnant women in addiction typically increase their risk two or three-fold. Likewise, different substances may have different effects on the womb. Cannabis addiction can affect fetal growth, resulting in lower birth weights and lengths. Alcohol addiction can bring on fetal alcohol spectrum disorders that cause birth defects and brain damage. Neonatal abstinence syndrome may occur in those with opioid addictions, resulting in an addicted child who must undergo withdrawal. Although every fetus is affected differently, it is best to avoid taking any drugs or medications while pregnant without first consulting with a doctor.
You’re Not Alone in Addiction
Addiction can happen to anyone, and isn’t limited to race, age, religion or gender. The 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that substance use within the year reached 8.5% for illicit drugs, 11.5% for alcohol, and 14.7% for tobacco products. It also reported an approximate 161,000 women used marijuana during their pregnancy and 69,000 used marijuana daily. These statistics are alarming, considering they indicate an increasing rate of pregnant substance use across the board. In addition, between 1999 to 2014, the number of women with an opioid use disorder at labor quadrupled. In fact, over 50% of all pregnant women have taken some form of drug during pregnancy. As substance use during pregnancy increases, addiction treatment clinics are called upon for safer and more effective treatment options.
Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)
With the opioid crisis reaching an all-time high in the last year, more and more people need help to find recovery. As such, the number of pregnant women addicted to drugs has also risen. To date, counseling, 12-step programs and support groups have been mildly effective. However, the most successful tool has been the use of medication assisted treatment (MAT). MAT is combination of behavioral therapy and use of FDA-approved medication. For example, medication assisted treatment with Subutex can help fight cravings, lessen withdrawal symptoms and ultimately reduce risk of relapse. Also, MAT programs with Suboxone have shown better results for newborns. It is important to remember that giving birth while addicted is more dangerous than recovering while pregnant. Drug cessation without proper medical help can be hazardous, but confidential treatment clinics, like Alternatives for You, are ready to help. In fact, Alternatives for you is one of only a few Suboxone treatment clinics that treats addiction during pregnancy.
Alternatives for You is a Medication Assisted Treatment clinic located in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. Servicing the greater West Palm Beach, Alternatives for You specializes in MAT care with Suboxone on an outpatient basis. Call us today at (561) 337-8880.
About the Author
Alexandra Bautista is a content intern at Last Call Marketing, which devotes their efforts to Digital Marketing, SEO and Social Engagement in healthcare and tourism. Ms. Bautista is a recent graduate of The University of Central Florida with a BS Degree in psychology and entertainment management.