AdobeStock_192606072This Mother’s Day, far too many pregnant women will be struggling, not celebrating.

That’s because they’re battling an addiction to opioids, which is classified as Opioid Use Disorder (OUD). At any moment, this battle could end in tragedy for mother and baby.

Stigma makes it difficult for people with substance use disorder to obtain life-saving treatment. The obstacles multiply when that person is pregnant.

Download our free Pocket Guide for fast tips on how to protect yourself and your pregnancy:
What to Do If You’re Pregnant and Addicted to Opioids: A Guide to Medication Treatment Through Pregnancy 

The consequences of OUD also multiply for pregnant women, because the effects extend to their infants. Newborns exposed to opioids during pregnancy may experience a withdrawal syndrome called neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), putting them at greater risk of seizures, respiratory problems, feeding difficulties, low birth weight, and even neonatal death.

wh_ts57441446According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, women who are pregnant should receive medication treatment, at least temporarily until their infant is delivered. Quitting opioids cold turkey can cause withdrawal symptoms, which could increase the chances of preterm delivery or neonatal death. Medication treatment is the safest way for pregnant women to manage their disease without harming their infants. 

Subutex (buprenorphine) is a long-acting opioid medication used with counseling and other services to treat individuals addicted to short-acting opioid drugs. Methadone can also be used, but NAS symptoms have been shown to be less severe with the use of Subutex. 

CleanSlate is a leader in outpatient addiction medicine, with physician-led centers across the country that have treated nearly 30,000 patients. We prioritize women who are pregnant and addicted to drugs or alcohol because we know that we’re treating not just one life, but two. CleanSlate fast-tracks medication treatment for any pregnant patient and we try our best to see that patient on the day they call or walk into one of our centers. 

Learn more by downloading our Pocket Guide:
What to Do If You’re Pregnant and Addicted to Opioids: A Guide to Medication Treatment Through Pregnancy






Also read:

The Facts About Medication Treatment For Opioid Addiction

5 Steps To Take When Someone You Know Suffers From Addiction

Helping Families Fight Addiction

Maria Russo-Appel M.D.

Maria Russo-Appel, M.D. is a board-certified adult psychiatrist and the Eastern Division Medical Director for CleanSlate, a leading national medical group that provides office-based outpatient medication treatment for the chronic disease of addiction, primarily alcohol and opioid use disorders.