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Alcohol and Drug Addiction Rehab for Pregnant Women

alcohol addiction treatmentYou deserve to be free from addiction. Your family deserves to see you live a life of freedom. Don’t let fear of judgment or fear of losing custody of your children stop you from getting well. Our treatment center specializes in providing support for all the unique issues you face.

Some of the most common barriers that women face when attempting to go to recovery include:

  • Financial dependency or homelessness
  • Childcare
  • Support from family members
  • Mental health disorders
  • Shame or guilt

Alcohol and Drug Rehab for Pregnant Mothers

Pregnancy can be stressful, but we provide tools to help lighten the load and help keep women from relying on substances as stress relievers. We see treatment work every day – and we are ready to help you!

Detoxing and Treatment for Pregnant Women

Your safety and the safety of your child are what is most important. Under our professional care, you will safely detox from drugs without harming your baby. Our drug rehab for pregnant women helps those who need help to begin their recovery journey and become well for both themselves and their children.

Learning about the effects of addictions on newborns and what happens with various drugs is heartbreaking. We understand addiction and want to help you or your loved one stop using – right now – today. Having children or being pregnant should not be a barrier to accessing substance abuse disorder. We offer childcare services in our programs for pregnant women and women live with their children on our serene, home-like campus. Call us now to learn more about the services we offer to pregnant women with drug addiction. 

Choosing a Drug Rehab for Pregnant Women

Being pregnant and addicted to drugs can be an overwhelming matter to handle. Emotions are high and emotional stability may be low. Pregnant women often have difficulty dealing with the added stress or emotions that come along with pregnancy. That goes even more for women who are suffering from an addiction.

Addictions are caused by genetics and are born as a brain disease that is chronic in nature. Stress, emotions, depression, and anxiety are a few of the reasons people turn to the use of drugs or alcohol. Some people may find relief when using an addictive substance, and the relief is so great, they keep turning to that substance. Eventually, the body needs more and more substance use in order to receive the same “high,” and then the body will become addicted and require substance use in order to function.

Alcoholics and their families must keep in mind that addiction is a disease and that this disease is treatable. Women that suffer from the disease of addiction can and do recover.

Being addicted to opiates such as heroin or OxyContin will require a medical detoxification program. A medical detoxification program is a gradual process that is administered under the direct supervision and care of a physician. A doctor will come up with a treatment plan that is tailored to the pregnant addict. We work with doctors that specialize in Subutex detox, and Subutex is used to replace the drug of choice and is scheduled to be taken at certain times of the day. Over time the dose of Subutex will be decreased until it is no longer needed.

It may also require medication assisted treatment for the woman until the child is born.

Does Drug Rehab for Pregnant Women Work?

There are many reasons pregnant women with a drug and alcohol addiction would benefit from going to a drug rehab. Choosing an inpatient program with all of the benefits you need to help you with your recovery is very important, so you want to consider all of the factors when choosing a rehab for pregnant women. Choosing one far from home can offer you a fresh start. It gives you a new environment to move forward in without ties to tempting past relationships. It may also offer a fresh start psychologically, as well.

Going to a drug rehab far from home also can offer fewer distractions and an ability to focus. Since family and friends, including any that have supported the pregnant woman’s addiction by giving her drugs or offering money for drugs or alcohol, will be far away, allowing her to focus on her recovery entirely. This is important not only for her but for her baby’s future. Choosing a rehab for pregnant women regardless of their location can offer them unlimited possibilities to find the best substance abuse treatment. 

When it comes to choosing a drug rehab for pregnant women, always choose a top-of-the-line program, staff with high credentials, with high success rates. Always make sure it is not only state-licensed but also nationally accredited.

Ultimately, the goal is to return to a healthy life from a life of drug and alcohol addiction. This can include new relationships with others sensitive to her new recovery journey, returning or completing school, as well as a new job. The possibilities are endless! The life tools learned in substance abuse treatment will assist her as an alumna of the program as well.  Long-term sobriety is real and possible for any recovering drug addict who stays focused on the goal: A new life without drugs.

Detox and Pregnancy

Alcohol and Drug Addiction Rehab for Pregnant Women

Being pregnant is very exciting and a somewhat overwhelming time for all women. It’s a time when women really start to think about their health, the health of their baby, and health-related care for both. When pregnant women are addicted to drugs or alcohol, they can become very overwhelmed or confused. Emotions are high during pregnancy; hormones are causing havoc, and the added complications associated with an addiction are not healthy for the mother or unborn baby. The thought of becoming a parent may be scary and cause someone to reach out to their addiction for what they think is “support.” It’s not. Turning to drugs and alcohol to help overcome fears is not the way to go.

If you are pregnant and have an addiction, prolonging the use of drugs or alcohol can increase the risk of complications and birth defects to your unborn child. Getting help should be the first step you take. Choosing recovery can be a difficult process, but with the correct support system, anyone can change their lifestyle and overcome their addiction.

Detox During Pregnancy

Non-opiate detox during pregnancy is safe for both mother and child, if done properly while under the care of a doctor. The process is not always pleasant, but if substance abuse treatment occurs early enough during the pregnancy the baby can be born as a non-addicted, healthy baby.  It greatly decreases the chances that the baby will be born with birth defects, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, or Fetal Alcohol effects.

Pregnant women who are addicted to opiates such as heroin, morphine, codeine, hydrocodone, or OxyContin will need to speak with a doctor and have a specialized addiction treatment plan. Women over the age of 35 or who have co-occurring disorders may have an increased risk of complications during detox. Your doctor will need to know your complete medical history in order to develop the best plan for attacking your addiction. Pregnant women should not attempt to detox without medical supervision.

Complications of Detox During Pregnancy

Detoxing from opiates is very dangerous, uncomfortable, and could lead to medical complications during pregnancy. The easiest method used for detoxing from opiates is by using Subutex. Subutex is a synthetic drug that allows a client to slowly detox with the supervision of their doctor. Using methadone, another drug used for detoxing pregnant women comes with more risks to the baby while in-vitro and a longer detox on the infant once born. Overall, using Subutex to detox from opiate addictions is much safer than any other method for both mom and baby.

How Long Does Detox Last?

Under normal circumstances, detoxing with Subutex can take a few days up to a few weeks. Federal practices require that mom be maintained on a minimal dose until the chance of premature labor is reduced. Using Subutex to detox during pregnancy will take longer. The process of detoxing during pregnancy must be controlled and supervised for the safety of the mother and unborn child. The drug that is normally used is replaced with doses of Subutex that are given at a certain time.

Pregnant women begin their stay at a medically-based facility so the baby and mother can be evaluated and monitored. While in that medical setting, the mother is titrated off of any opiates and or benzodiazepines and started on non-addictive medications.

Why Should You Choose

A Specialized Program?

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Specialized understanding of medications that pregnant women can utilize during treatment

Understanding best practices for the many therapies available in a well-rounded program

Alumni support for all women after leaving treatment and having their baby

Deep understanding of the challenges that face women regularly and how to approach them

Pregnancy and Addiction

If you’re asking this question, then you are ready to seek help.   We know that if you choose to call us – we will help you find the treatment you need. We are committed to helping you find the treatment that is the best fit for you and your family.  We look forward to guiding you through this process.

When looking for a treatment center, you should make certain the facility is equipped to handle pregnant women. Some treatment centers are not adequately equipped or may not have the knowledge to help with detoxing during pregnancy. Certain facilities, such as ours, will also allow you to bring children into treatment with you so you can live together as a family.

How soon should I get treatment?

The answer is immediately. The longer you wait, the chances of complications during your pregnancy increase. The longer you wait, the chances of birth defects increase. If treatment is sought before the end of your pregnancy, the baby could be born sober and addiction-free, decrease chances of birth defects, and give your child a chance for a healthier life for themselves and the gift of a mother in recovery.

Effects on Drug Addiction on Newborns

Alcohol and Drug Addiction Rehab for Pregnant Women The impact of chemical dependency is far-reaching, cutting across the global population like a plague or epidemic. A close look at its victims makes us realize that even the unborn and young children are not spared. Many women who are addicted to alcohol and other drugs are unduly exposing their unborn babies to drugs and alcohol of all sorts thus putting their lives on the line. Meanwhile, the list of child abuses is also growing; most of them are children whose parents are using drugs.

There is definitely a connection between drug addiction and neglect. The only state in the United States that will prosecute pregnant women for using drugs is South Carolina. If a woman is found guilty, she will not only lose her baby to social services, but she will be prosecuted for child neglect and harm. 

Forty thousand babies are born every year with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, which is the leading cause of mental retardation in our country. It is 100% preventable. Many, if not all, states will intervene on the child’s behalf if the child tests positive for drugs at the time of their birth. For the sake of mom and child, intervening early and offering treatment for mom that includes her infant is best.

Withdrawal Stage After Born

Once the child is born, there are numerous side effects and health risks the child must endure in the first weeks, even months of its little life.

  • Club foot
  • Skeletal defects
  • Breathing problems
  • Motor controls
  • Poor hand to eye Coordination
  • Balancing
  • Sitting up without support
  • Inability to roll from side to side
  • Depression
  • Lethargy
  • Poor appetite
  • Reflux problems
  • Restless sleeping
  • Vomiting
  • Cry is high-pitched and very loud
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Seizures
  • Hyperactivity
  • Central nervous system damage
  • Lung problems
  • Stomach problems
  • Increased chances of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
  • Trouble eating and digesting food
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Sleeping too much
  • Instability of head
  • Tremors
  • Lack of muscle tone or too much muscle
  • Narrowing of blood vessels due to reduced blood flow and oxygen
  • Very clingy
  • Trouble focusing on one object
  • Low weight throughout life
  • Reduce in development
  • Addictive behavior
  • Paralysis
  • Motor development delayed
  • Abnormalities of the heart
  • Eye problems
  • Bleeding on the brain

This is the harsh reality for these very small victims that suffer the consequences of the devastating disease of alcoholism and drug addiction.

The Future Road for the Drug Addicted Newborn

The road ahead for the drug-addicted newborn may or may not be a normal life as far as physical aspects, if the mom does not receive treatment and get well. The child’s future depends on if the pregnant woman keeps the child and seeks a drug-free life. 

Domestic violence is another common consequence of parental drug use. The usual victims are the children, whether they are simply witnesses or directly abused physically, sexually, psychologically, and emotionally. A child’s health may also suffer as a consequence of stress and neglect.

Illicit Drugs and Infants

Alarmingly, there are approximately 3 million women who use illicit drugs during their pregnancy. That means that there are 3 million babies born alive or stillborn in a world that is already full of risks for a little one. Sadly, the women already have an addiction problem prior to getting pregnant. An unexpected pregnancy combined with a drug problem is a combination that could mean a long road of recovery for both the woman as well as the baby if she chooses to seek treatment.

Different Types of Drug Addiction with Pregnancy

Marijuana Information and Pregnancy: The drug that has been found to be most commonly abused during pregnancy is marijuana. This drug causes the most damage during pregnancy. Some of the effects that directly affect the baby during pregnancy include the following:

  • Decrease in growing in size and maturation
  • Chances of premature birth increases
  • Excessive crying and trembling
  • Extreme sensitivity to light & touch
  • Sleep patterns are very irregular
  • Inability to adjust to various temperatures as well as environments

The long-term effects of marijuana that have been studied in children who were exposed during pregnancy are very few in number. There are some that show children have a hard time focusing as well as behavioral problems.

Another risk that may not seem like it affects the infant directly is how the illicit drugs take a toll on the mother’s health. There are many different side effects as well as health risks; a mother puts not only herself in a position to deal with these, but also the infant. These side effects and health risks include but are not limited to:

  • Infections of the blood, heart, and skin
  • Anemia
  • Higher risk of sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s)
  • Placenta abruption
  • Stillbirth
  • Premature delivery
  • Miscarriage
  • Hemorrhaging before and after birth 

Chances of these side effects and health risks are lowered greatly – if not completely – if the mother stops taking the illicit drugs during the first trimester.

Cocaine Information and Pregnancy

When pregnant women use cocaine during their pregnancy, there are side effects and withdrawal symptoms that can carry long term into their child’s life. These side effects are listed below but are not limited to:

  • Placenta abruptions which increase the chances are leading to stillbirths
  • Abortion spontaneity
  • Placenta prevail
  • Uterine contractions
  • Decreased blood flow to the baby
  • Placenta vessels become constricted
  • Premature labor
  • Membranes rupturing prematurely
  • Low birth weight
  • Malnutrition baby due to mother’s suppressed appetite
  • Brain not developing fully or at all
  • Problems with genital development
  • Problems with urinary development

The list above gives such a small picture of what can happen to a baby while developing in the womb. Once the baby is born, it still will show complications throughout their whole life. The list below shows what a baby can encounter. Of course, this is not the full list. This just gives you a small glimpse.

  • Withdrawal symptoms
  • Depression
  • Lethargy
  • Poor appetite
  • Reflux problems
  • Very restless
  • Vomiting
  • Cry is high-pitched and very loud
  • Depression
  • Seizures
  • Hyperactivity
  • Central nervous system damage

Ecstasy, Methamphetamines & Amphetamines

Ecstasy Information and Pregnancy

The use of ecstasy during pregnancy only has a few studies that show the effects during infancy as well as following throughout life. Even though there are few studies, the majority of the results show babies who are exposed to ecstasy in the womb have birth defects. Examples of the type of birth defects include not limited to:

  • Club foot
  • Skeletal Defects
  • Breathing Problems
  • Motor Controls
  • Poor Hand to Eye Coordination
  • Balancing
  • Sitting Up with support
  • Inability to roll from side to side

Methamphetamines Information and Pregnancy

When it comes to using methamphetamines while pregnant, no matter what term they are in, this is a very dangerous habit. In fact, pregnant women who use methamphetamines can see life-threatening complications for not only the baby but herself. Every side effect from using methamphetamines causes damage to not only the mother but, more importantly, the baby.

Listed below are the side effects that directly affect the baby due to meth use from the mother. The list includes but is not limited to the following:

  • Premature Labor
  • Premature Delivery
  • Birth by C-Section only
  • Increased chances of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
  • Trouble eating and digesting food
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Sleeping too much
  • Instability of head
  • Tremors
  • Lacking muscle tone 

Amphetamine Information and Pregnancy

Amphetamine use during pregnancy, especially during the very early weeks of pregnancy, can start to affect the baby right away. Since this drug is linked to causing an elevated heart rate and a suppressed appetite, the side effects are horrible for an unborn baby.

The list below describes the side effects that directly affect the baby while in the womb:

  • Narrowing of blood vessels due to reduced blood flow and oxygen
  • Premature labor
  • Premature delivery
  • Heavy bleeding after delivery
  • Reduction in development
  • Stillbirths
  • Miscarriage
  • Motor development delayed
  • Cleft lip
  • Eye problems
  • Bleeding on the brain
  • Abnormalities of the heart

 Alcohol Information and View During Pregnancy

Drinking alcohol during pregnancy is never a good idea. Every drink you decide to have the baby also has. Alcohol during pregnancy can cause significant lifelong health challenges for the baby. There is no safe amount of alcohol during pregnancy, and expecting mothers are encouraged to refrain from drinking for the sake of their unborn child.

Drinking alcohol can lead to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and produce Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.

The list below describes some of the possible side effects of drinking alcohol during pregnancy:

  • Low birth weight
  • Premature birth
  • Sleeping problems
  • Speech problems
  • Language problems
  • Learning disability
  • Abnormal facial features
  • Small head size 

Opiate Information and Pregnancy

A recent study shows a distinct and fast rise of women using opiates during their pregnancy. A popular opiate is heroin. This drug is more dangerous than others because it causes harm to both the mother and the baby. Opiate withdrawal symptoms can be very dangerous for the woman and her child.

Using opiates decreases the likelihood of having a successful pregnancy. It is important that if you are planning to get pregnant, you should attempt to stop using opiates before deciding to get pregnant. A sudden absence of opiates after continual use can cause more trouble than good. The greatest risk is contracting sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

The list below describes some of the possible side effects of using opiates during pregnancy:

  • Neonatal abstinence syndrome
  • Seizures
  • Breathing problems
  • Dehydration
  • Feeding difficulty
  • Tremors
  • Malnutrition
  • Infections 

Find the Right Drug Rehab for Pregnant Women

Family is one of the key staples to recovery, especially for pregnant women during their struggle with addiction. It’s the reason why we focus so much on establishing meaningful, long-term relationships as an essential part of the recovery process. Family, whether bonded by blood or built by shared experiences, is always there.

New Directions for Women focuses their drug rehab for pregnant women on healing the family cohesively with a deep commitment to understanding the pain and struggle women in this position go through. We are here to help. You can gain freedom from substance abuse. 

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Clinically Reviewed By:

Picture of Heather Black-Coyne, LMFT, CADC II, Chief Clinical Officer

Heather Black-Coyne, LMFT, CADC II, Chief Clinical Officer

Heather most recently served as the Clinical Director of a gender-specific treatment center in Huntington Beach. She is trained in both Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), which serve the needs of our clients, many of whom have experienced both complex trauma and substance use disorder.

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