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Drug Addiction In Pregnant Woman: What’s The Possible Solution?

Expecting mothers who are struggling with drug addiction often try to stop using drugs when they become aware that their substance abuse may cause harm to their unborn child. Though it may seem to be the right thing to do, abruptly stopping drug or alcohol use — taking drugs/alcohol one day, immediately stopping the next day — after a dependency can instead put the unborn child as well as the mother in great danger, including both physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms. With systematic treatment, it’s actually possible for a drug-addicted woman to deliver a healthy baby. Over the years, the number of newborns getting exposed to drug addiction has steadily increased. In 2012, more than 21,000 pregnant women were diagnosed with the dreadful effects of drug addiction. But the good thing is that even if you are somebody trying to come out of addiction, you can still deliver a healthy baby with the help of right treatment and rehab.

What Are The Risks Of Substance Abuse When You Are Pregnant?

If a pregnant woman is addicted to drugs, they cannot monitor or control their desire to take drugs. This causes the level of drugs in their body to go to extreme levels, and the fetus is also exposed to a sporadic period of drug withdrawal. Gradually, the placenta gets damaged which often causes premature birth or miscarriage. Possible effects include, but are not limited to, stunted growth, pre-term labor pain, and even fetal death. How the drug affects the mother also determines how the fetus would be affected. Risks of maternal infections such as HIV infection or HCV infection cannot be overruled either. Chronic substance abuse may also lead to insufficient prenatal care and maternal malnutrition, both of which can potentially cause harm to the fetus.

Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Or NAS Is A Bigger Threat

NAS is basically a host of problems that occur in an infant if it becomes totally dependant on opioids that might be used by the mother when she was pregnant. As a result, the infant also experiences drug withdrawal, and the withdrawal symptoms may range from diarrhea and seizures to tremors and high fever. Infants with the syndrome have increased five times in the USA in just 12 years. This shows that a higher number of pregnant women are now drug-addicted, too. If your loved one is suffering from drug addiction, and you are concerned about the health of the mother and the child, you should consider the treatment options available to you. Methadone maintenance and buprenorphine replacement therapy have gained wide currency among obstetricians and neonatal experts.

Should You Go For Buprenorphine Or Methadone Treatment?

Both methadone and buprenorphine treatments are evidence-backed procedures for drug-addicted pregnant women. However, recent studies have shown that methadone has a considerably high retention rate. On the other hand, a buprenorphine-based treatment has shown at least ten percent lower incidence of NAS. Buprenorphine treatment also helps in decreasing neonatal treatment by more than one week, and the patient needs to take less morphine as well. Since both treatments are supported by doctors and scientists, you should consult a licensed medical professional to know which treatment is best for you or someone dear to you.

What Are The Benefits Of Drug Addiction Treatment During Pregnancy?

It has already been proven that pregnant women who receive drug addiction treatments have a lower risk of NAS, short recovery times, and better gestational weight, age as well as head circumference. Systematic treatment can stabilize the level of opioids in the fetus which can minimize chronic pre-natal withdrawal. Such treatments can also be beneficial for expecting mothers who need HIV, HCV, and HPV treatments, and the chances of transmitting the diseases in unborn babies are also reduced to a great extent. Improved prenatal care is another huge benefit of drug addiction treatment during pregnancy. The long-term benefits for both the child and mother can also not be overlooked. Also, if you are pregnant, you can breastfeed your newborn during the addiction treatment.

There are lots of residential drug treatment programs that require pregnant women to live at some facility. This way, the pregnant women can have proper care and treatment in a totally stigma-free hospital environment which aids in their faster recovery. These treatment programs are administered by licensed and experienced healthcare professionals, and withdrawal symptoms are addressed immediately. Therefore, if you are expecting a baby, it’s time you should stop worrying about your drug addiction as you can now get the right treatment and care.

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