pregnant woman dealing with addiction

By Elizabeth Ossip, LCSW, CAP, ICADC

Pregnant and addicted? If this is your situation, then you need immediate treatment. The health of you and your baby is at risk, and taking the right steps now can make all the difference for you and your unborn child. If you are thinking about going into pregnancy addiction treatment for alcohol dependence or drug addiction and you are pregnant, you need to find a specialized treatment program that accepts clients who are pregnant and that has the appropriate care and program needed for someone pregnant.

The type of substances you have been using and how far along you are in your pregnancy will determine the recommendations and type of treatment you will need. All substances, including nicotine, caffeine, alcohol, marijuana, opiates, sedatives, benzodiazepines, and even many OTC medications, can have detrimental consequences for you, your pregnancy, and your baby. If you have a problem with alcohol or drugs and can’t stop using, entering rehab for pregnant mothers is critically important while the baby is in fetal development. Contact one of our trained pregnancy addiction specialists by calling 877-284-0353 today for help.

Current reports show a marked increase in infants born with an addiction to opiates, resulting in Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome; according to a National Institute on Drug Abuse report, a five-fold increase from 2000 to 2012. This means that every 25 minutes, a baby is born suffering from opioid withdrawal. If you have an opiate addiction during pregnancy, it is not recommended you stop using abruptly if you are pregnant, as your withdrawal can increase the risk for preterm labor, fetal distress, or miscarriage. It is important to get medical supervision and the appropriate treatment before you stop using.

Fighting Addiction While Pregnant

Alcohol use during pregnancy is another high risk. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (, there are no safe levels of alcohol use during pregnancy; any amount of alcohol use at any time during the pregnancy can have adverse results. Alcohol use during pregnancy can create a broad range of effects and symptoms caused by prenatal alcohol exposure. Referred to under the umbrella term Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD), symptoms can appear at any time during childhood and last a lifetime. The most severe is Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, which is diagnosed by evidence of prenatal alcohol exposure, evidence of central nervous system (CNS) abnormalities (structural or functional), a specific pattern of three facial abnormalities: narrow eye openings, a smooth area between the lip and the nose (vs. the normal ridge), and a thin upper lip and growth deficits either prenatally, after birth, or both. If you drink alcohol and can’t stop, you need pregnancy addiction treatment, especially if you intend to become pregnant. Contact one of our trained pregnancy addiction specialists by calling 877-284-0353 today for help.

women concerned about Alcohol Dependence During Pregnancy

The withdrawal from alcohol dependence requires medical supervision and, if pregnant, a woman requires specialized prenatal care. Other drugs, including marijuana, can harm your pregnancy, as can tobacco and caffeine. It is critical for your unborn child’s health and health to get the support you need during this important time. Getting early prenatal care and stopping the use of all substances that can harm your baby will help your pregnancy go more smoothly and give your baby the best chance of having a healthy start in life.

If you are addicted to a substance and can’t stop using it, then some form of pregnancy addiction treatment can help. There are many different forms of treatment ranging from inpatient, residential treatment to outpatient and support groups. The right level of care can be determined by a professional who is knowledgeable about addiction and treatment. Working with your OB-GYN and an Addictions Professional can ensure that you get the appropriate form of treatment.

lady with Substance Use Disorders During Pregnancy

There is much evidence that treatment for pregnant women can be effective and successful if structured properly and continued for the appropriate length of time. Research supports a higher rate of positive treatment outcomes for pregnant women with substance use disorders in specialized long-term comprehensive residential programs, including abstinence following treatment, reduced involvement with the criminal justice system, not living with a partner who abused substances, employment gains, improved mental health and maintaining child custody. Increased self-esteem, reduced depressive symptoms, and improved parenting have also been demonstrated in programs with comprehensive, gender-specific services. Finding the right pregnancy addiction program that offers treatment specifically for a pregnant woman will pay off in many ways for both you as a mother and your future child. Contact one of our trained pregnancy addiction specialists by calling 877-284-0353 today for help.