Narcotic addiction, that is addiction to opioid drugs both prescription and illicit, in pregnant patients must be treated carefully so as not to harm either the patient or the fetus. There are several methods used to treat this issue in patients of this type, and while it can involve a considerable amount of time and …
How is Narcotic Addiction Treated in Pregnant Patients?
Narcotic addiction, that is addiction to opioid drugs both prescription and illicit, in pregnant patients must be treated carefully so as not to harm either the patient or the fetus. There are several methods used to treat this issue in patients of this type, and while it can involve a considerable amount of time and effort, results are beneficial as well as much safer than the continued abuse of narcotics or sudden abstinence from these drugs.
The Use of Medications as Narcotic Addiction Treatment in Pregnant Patients
Medications are extremely important during this time, as it is often more dangerous for pregnant individuals to stop taking opioids completely than for them to be maintained on a prescription medication. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, this method prevents withdrawal, and “withdrawal for pregnant women is especially dangerous because it causes the uterus to contract and may bring on miscarriage or premature birth.”
As stated by a SAMHSA study on medically assisted treatment for opioid addiction during pregnancy, “Methadone has been accepted since the late 1970s to treat opioid addiction during pregnancy.” It is safe for both the patient and the fetus, prevents withdrawal symptoms, helps the patient stop their abuse of dangerous narcotics, and does not cause euphoria when dosed properly. This medication is often recommended to most patients when going through narcotic addiction treatment during pregnancy.
Buprenorphine has not been approved to treat pregnant patients to the extent that methadone has, but the drug may still be used in certain circumstances. For example, when a patient has already been taking buprenorphine as a treatment for their narcotic addiction and becomes pregnant, they will often be recommended to stay on that medication in order to keep their body maintained in the same way. In addition, some patients refuse methadone and can instead be maintained on buprenorphine. Because the drug has not been as thoroughly researched in its effects on pregnancy, it isn’t normally the first choice for most physicians, but it may be right for some individual patients, given their situation.
The Use of Therapy as Narcotic Addiction Treatment in Pregnant Patients
Therapy is still extremely important as a part of an individual’s overall addiction treatment program, especially when pregnancy is involved. This can add a whole host of other issues for the patient that they must be able to work out in either an individual or group therapy regimen. In these sessions, they can learn to cope more easily with issues like cravings and triggers, so they can focus on being a good parent as well as on a strong recovery.
In addition, many programs provide nutrition classes, case management, couples therapy, and food assistance to those undergoing narcotic addiction treatment while pregnant. It is still important to ensure that the individual is healthy and able to achieve a strong recovery in addition to the other needs that stem from their pregnancy.
Are You Looking for Narcotic Addiction Treatment?
If you are pregnant, it will be much safer for you to attend professional addiction treatment if you are still struggling with narcotic addiction. If you have any questions or are seeking a treatment center in your area, call (800) 407-7195.