Are There Drug Detox Programs For Pregnant Women?

The NSDUH - the National Survey on Drug Use and Health - estimated that from 2012 to 2013 more than 5.5 percent of all expectant women in the United States aged between 15 and 44 were abusing illicit drugs. Additionally, the CDC - the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - has also reported that as many as 10 percent of all pregnant women use alcohol.

Using drugs and drinking alcohol while expecting a child can not only harm you, it can also affect your unborn baby. This is because these substances can cross the placenta and reach your baby.

NIDA - the National Institute on Drug Abuse - also reports that ongoing substance abuse can triple your risk of still birth although this will largely depend on the intoxicating and mind altering substances that you abuse.

Other adverse effects of ongoing substance abuse while pregnant include:

  • Fetal alcohol syndrome (or FAS)
  • Birth defects
  • Low birth weight
  • Miscarriage
  • Neonatal abstinence syndrome (or NAS)
  • Neurological defects
  • Premature birth

Medical detox is the best, smoothest, and safest way for you to stop taking these intoxicating drugs and alcohol. It is also essential if you are expecting a baby and need to overcome your addiction.

Understanding Medical Detox

Detoxification is a process that is designed to help you withdraw safely from the alcohol and/or drugs that you were abusing. If you are expectant, you should undergo this process through a medically managed program.

While struggling with a substance use disorder during your pregnancy and you try to quit, you will most likely experience withdrawal symptoms. This is because your body will be responding to the lack of the drugs/alcohol that you used to abuse.

Many of these withdrawal symptoms will be incredibly painful while others will be downright fatal and life-threatening. Additionally, there is a high likelihood that you might experience strong cravings for the drugs that you are addicted to. If you are pregnant, withdrawal is also highly likely to become protracted.

Through a medically managed detoxification program, you will be able to physically withdraw from the drugs that you were abusing. This program will also provide you with the medical assistance, supervision, and management services that you require to ensure that you are safe and comfortable.

Detoxification for Expectant Mothers

If you are pregnant and struggling with a substance use disorder, your medical detoxification program will have to be made more unique than what you would have undergone if you were not expecting a child.

While expecting, your addiction will make it increasingly difficult for you to make positive, rational, and rational choices with respect to your health and the current state of your unborn baby. However, you should not give up on getting help because your substance use disorder is a medical condition that can be treated and managed.

Ongoing substance abuse, however, can cause you to suffer major problems - and your unborn child might also be put in danger. This is why you should seek recovery and sobriety as soon as possible to ensure that everything is going well with you and your unborn baby.

Duration of Detoxification

Undergoing detox while expecting a child is complex. This means that the program is highly likely to last longer than it otherwise would have. As a pregnant woman, you should expect to spend a couple of weeks in a medically managed detoxification program. The duration of treatment would typically be longer if you are addicted to a highly intoxicating and mind altering substance like opioids and benzodiazepines.

To ensure that you have the highest chances of success, your detoxification program will be made as comprehensive as possible. Further, the program will provide you with further rehabilitation and therapy services to reduce the risk that detox poses to your unborn child.

Risks of Detox for Pregnant Women

Before you can overcome your substance use disorder, it is essential that you first undergo detoxification to get rid of all the drugs and alcohol that you were abusing from your system.

A medically managed detoxification program is the safest and most comfortable way to deal with addiction when you are expecting a child. This is because it will provide you with professional medical services that will ensure your and your baby's safety.

However, there are certain risks that detox might pose to you and your child. Even so, the substances of abuse that you were taking will play a major role in the risks that detoxification will bring up.

To this end, you should never quit drugs and alcohol cold-turkey or without medical supervision. This is because you might suffer some painful or even dangerous withdrawal symptoms that could also affect your child.

On the other hand, ongoing substance abuse can pose the following risks to expectant mothers like you:

  • A baby who is dependent on the drugs you were abusing
  • Birth defects
  • Low birth weight
  • Miscarriage
  • Premature birth
  • Small head size
  • Stillbirth
  • Sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS
  • Heart defects
  • Infections like HIV and hepatitis C
  • Neonatal abstinence syndrome (or NAS)

Safe Detox While Pregnant

Even so, you can safely undergo detoxification even while you are expecting a baby. In fact, doctors recommend that you undergo this type of medical program as soon as possible to ensure that your baby is not affected by your substance abuse.

To improve the efficiency and efficacy of your detoxification, you should check into a detox facility that offers medical supervision, management, and care. In such a program, you will even receive medications to ease your withdrawal symptoms while also preventing your unborn baby from becoming addicted or dying.

In many cases, the detox will take several weeks or months to ensure that both you and your baby are sober and healthy. The important thing is to undergo this process as soon as you realize that you are addicted and pregnant.

After the detoxification program, you should also continue with other rehabilitation programs to reduce your risk of relapse and learn how to deal with any temptations that might arise later on. Rehabilitation can also teach you how to be a better mother who is free of drugs and alcohol.

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