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Addiction Treatment for Pregnant Women
Treating pregnant women who struggle with drug addiction is not an easy task but is necessary to ensure the recovery of both the mother and her baby.
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One of the most important reasons for addiction treatment for pregnant women is the fact that they fear seeking treatment to begin with. A woman who struggles with drug addiction while pregnant usually carries an incredible amount of shame. The stigma associated with addiction multiplies when you’re addicted to drugs during pregnancy.
Judgment will only widen the divide and keep these women from seeking the help they and their baby need. If you approach them with an air of understanding, love, and tolerance, they’ll be more receptive to your help. They need support and care during their early recovery to ensure the best chances of success for them and their child.
What are some important things to keep in mind when looking for addiction treatment for pregnant women? They have additional needs that some facilities simply aren’t capable of meeting. What are these needs, though, and how can you make sure the facilities you find can fulfill them?
The Importance of Addiction Treatment for Pregnant Women
Everyone knows that no two people are exactly alike. This leads to a number of various approaches to treating addiction in different individuals. Every person who struggles with drug addiction deserves to find help for their addiction. Still, only about 1 million out of the 18.2 million people who need special treatment for their substance dependence receive it.
The numbers of pregnant women who receive treatment are likely much lower. Women who struggle with drug addiction during pregnancy also often struggle to seek help. Society heavily stigmatizes pregnant women with drug addictions which discourages them from admitting they have a problem or seeking treatment for their substance abuse.
This couldn’t be a more dangerous approach to the situation. Casting shame and judgment on these vulnerable women leads to much more harm than good. But addiction treatment for pregnant women adds an additional layer to the problem. Not only does the woman need treatment for her drug addiction, but her baby also needs it to avoid being born addicted to drugs.
Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS)
Doctors diagnose a baby born addicted to drugs with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), a serious group of birth and development-related conditions. As rates of drug addiction soared over the past years, the rates of babies born with NAS rose too.
NAS includes a few different conditions that affect newborns exposed to narcotics, such as heroin or other opiates, while in the womb. Some are born experience opiate withdrawal symptoms because of the dependence their bodies developed on the drugs their mother used. Now both the mother and the baby need treatment for their addictions.
If addiction treatment for pregnant women is not readily available the problem will only get worse. Rates of NAS and other drug-related conditions will keep rising even though the solution is available. Rather than immediately criminalizing these women, what can be done to help? What types of treatment are available to help pregnant women with drug addictions?
Treating Drug Addiction in Pregnant Women
Again, providing addiction treatment for pregnant women comes with a unique set of challenges. Clinicians have to take into account both her and the developing fetus. Whatever she ingests the baby also ingests which increases the risk of usual options like medication-assisted treatment.
Still, some professionals find a combination of low-dose methadone along with treatment and prenatal care leads to less disastrous results. Babies exposed to methadone still require treatment for withdrawal symptoms after they’re born but this approach eliminates the presence of harder drugs.
There are also options for women who prefer avoiding the use of any medication to aid the process. Some clinicians who avoid the use of medication during addiction treatment who might be a helpful option. Rather than relying on medication to treat addiction, they increase the amount of individual and group therapy.
Not only should providers remain aware of the air of judgment they carry, but they also need to ensure cooperation from the rest of the group. Dealing with drug addiction is an isolating experience on its own. Grappling with addiction during pregnancy leads to another level of separation from the world. If a woman experiences judgment from her peers, she might shut down during therapy.
Pregnant and Finding Treatment
If you’re looking for addiction treatment for pregnant women make sure to thoroughly vet each facility you consider. Find out whether they’ve worked with pregnant women before and if they understand how best to care for you.
Here at Hawaii Island Recovery, a treatment center located on the Big Island of Hawaii, we pride ourselves on our ability to provide proper addiction treatment for pregnant women. Our facility is a safe location for you to escape the jaws of addiction and make the most informed decisions regarding your care. To find out more, call us today at 877-721-3556!