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  • Substance use and drug addiction can affect anyone, even pregnant women. Drug use does not discriminate and there are a variety of treatment options to consider.

    Pregnant women who suffer from substance use disorder, alcohol abuse, or any other type of drug abuse are more likely to experience health problems during pregnancy. 

    Because of this, expectant mothers may need detoxification support to quit drugs and alcohol in a safe environment specialized for their needs. 

    Substance Abuse Treatment For Pregnant Women

    Treatment facilities are available for pregnant women. Careful steps must be taken to ensure the safety of both the mother and her unborn child. 

    For instance, there are certain unique needs pregnant women may require during treatment. This is why there are treatment centers specifically designed for women who are pregnant.

    Medical Supervision

    Prenatal care focuses on the health of both mother and baby. If a pregnant woman values drugs or alcohol over herself or baby, essential components of prenatal care may be neglected and increase the risk of birth complications.

    Rehab programs designed for pregnant women understand the potential medical complications of being pregnant. A team of multidisciplinary professionals, including psychiatrists and nurses, can monitor both the physical and mental health symptoms of addiction to keep everyone safe.

    Group Therapy

    Pregnancy can be stressful, but drug treatment programs for pregnant women offer support groups or group therapy sessions to create a safe and supportive atmosphere. Women going through similar struggles can share and learn from one another.

    Medication-Assisted Treatment

    Pregnant women dealing with severe opioid or alcohol addiction may need a medication-assisted treatment (MAT) program to stop use. Buprenorphine, for example, maybe prescribed for women addicted to opioids.

    Although there may be concerns for side effects related to medications, the benefits of MAT likely outweigh the risks of substance use during pregnancy.

    The Dangers Of Substance Use During Pregnancy

    Any type of drug or alcohol abuse by women who are pregnant can result in life-threatening problems for both the mother and child. 

    Opioid Abuse

    Those struggling with opioid use are more likely to also abuse alcohol, partake in smoking, and use other substances as well. Misusing opioids during pregnancy can result in the baby developing withdrawal symptoms

    Some of the complications that may arise when opioid abuse occurs include:

    • a withdrawal syndrome known as Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS)
    • respiratory difficulties
    • placental abruption
    • feeding problems
    • low birth weight

    Alcohol Use

    Expectant mothers should avoid alcohol. Alcohol addiction can cause serious problems when a woman is pregnant. Drinking alcohol during your pregnancy can result in the child developing fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. For instance, the following can occur:

    • birth defects
    • fetal alcohol syndrome
    • ​premature birth
    • stillbirth

    To keep you and your baby safe, you’ll want to avoid:

    • illegal drugs
    • ​opioids
    • ​benzodiazepines
    • ​alcohol
    • smoking
    • prescription drugs

    Abusing any of the above can lead to dependency and a difficult pregnancy. Those abusing drugs and alcohol while pregnant should understand that their child has an increased risk of developing many types of problems including a number of different learning disabilities.

    Drug Treatment Services For You

    Outpatient and inpatient options are available for expectant mothers suffering from addiction or other mental health issues. Receiving healthcare from rehab centers is imperative to you and the life of your unborn baby.

    If you or a loved one struggles with a substance use disorder, there are plenty of treatment plans and support groups that can help. 

    Enroll in a treatment program and undergo detox so you can have a smooth pregnancy and ensure your unborn baby can have the best possible life. Contact our helpline and speak to one of our treatment specialists today.

    Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
    ©2023 Ark National Holdings, LLC. | All Rights Reserved.
    This page does not provide medical advice.
    Medically Reviewed by
    Kimberly Langdon M.D.
    on June 24, 2022
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