Drug detox during pregnancy
Perhaps a mother has just found out she is pregnant and has made the decision to quit using drugs or alcohol for her baby. Drug detox is an important first step and the earlier the decision is made, the easier and safer it will be for mother and baby. However, drug detox during pregnancy can be tricky depending on an expecting mother’s drug of choice and severity of her addiction.
More than 5 percent of pregnant women, aged 15 to 44, are currently using illicit drugs, reports the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Likewise, 1 in 10 pregnant women describe alcohol use, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
While babies born to addicted mothers often experience withdrawal symptoms within hours of being born, there are excellent drug detox options available for pregnant women looking to become completely drug-free during and after their pregnancy. Contrary to common myths, drug detox during pregnancy is frequently safe and effective.
If you are a pregnant woman currently struggling with addiction or know a pregnant woman in need of drug detox, treatment is necessary as soon as possible. The choice to enter drug detox early in pregnancy is frequently safe and effective for protecting the baby from being born with an addiction and undergoing withdrawals.
Drug detox treatment for women addicted to substances other than opiates, like heroin, prescription opioid painkillers, codeine, morphine, Oxycontin, hydrocodone, and several others are generally safe if handled thoughtfully and with certified assistance. It won’t be an uncomplicated process but it can be extraordinarily beneficial for the baby, likely affecting the rest of their life.
It is highly recommended that pregnant women looking for drug detox treatment do so under the supervision of a trusted physician.
Generally, inpatient drug detox is best for pregnant women dealing with addiction. Weaning and maintenance are the most common methods of opiate detoxification. Pregnant women with addictions are in highly volatile situations, calling for the 24-hour-care available during inpatient drug detox. Weaning involves giving drug doses to recovering addicts in slowly dwindling amounts until no amount of medication is administered to the patient. While withdrawals are still present, their magnitude is lessened. At the same time that this technique has garnered effective results, it has also accrued a sizable number of doctors choosing to bypass this technique in order to forgo risking fetal injury or death. This is still true while research does not exactly suggest a correlation between a mother’s methadone intake and withdrawal symptoms in her baby.
It is recommended that pregnant women using methadone find a dose that works for them rather than concern themselves completely with the amount they are using. Only in certain circumstances should the mother start tapering off methadone. One of these is when she is in inpatient care and is tapered off methadone under the supervision of certified staff. The other is after the mother has already carried her baby to full term.
Pregnant women might find themselves needing to raise their methadone dosage, something many women are surprised to find is common. It may give you or a pregnant loved one ease to hear that at the third trimester, the amount of blood in the body doubles and increases the need for a higher dosage. Having the right dosage will ensure that you and your baby experience as little painful withdrawal symptoms as possible.
Methadone Treatment and The Possibility of Addiction
Many mothers are concerned about whether methadone will raise their baby’s chance for addiction later in life? Like most diseases, addiction is very complex. There is no sure way to predict growth of an addiction as a singular addiction gene does not exist. Rather, it depends on a vast array and combination of hereditary and environmental influences. Thus making it difficult to determine a single factor being the sole proprietor for the cause of addiction. While there is no surefire way to tell, scientists have found addiction genes that can be passed down generations.
Should Detoxing, Medication-Assisted Mothers Breastfeed Their Babies?
Not every drug detox medication is safe for every mother. While buprenorphine has been safe for some women and their babies have been announced dependent-free neonatal, other babies have developed dependencies despite having shown no symptoms earlier.
Findings from a multicenter prospective study of 246 pregnant women getting methadone or buprenorphine for their opiate addictions show that only 22 percent of these women were receiving methadone or buprenorphine and concurrently breastfeeding. Generally, findings show that there are less women treated with buprenorphine and naloxone who are breastfeeding, indicating that it may be wiser to avoid this medication when breastfeeding.