Substance use disorder or addiction is a disease that affects anyone at any time. While we all know that smoking, drinking, or using substances when pregnant can have detrimental effects, addiction can still strike women during this time. Pregnancy and addiction is a unique challenge for individuals and treatment professionals. However, with the right addiction recovery program, individuals, couples, and families can overcome the disease.
Pregnancy and Addiction: Alcohol
When pregnant, alcohol addiction can lead to severe issues damaging not just the unborn child but the mother as well. Some of the dangers of alcohol abuse while pregnant include:
- Premature birth: While it is still unknown precisely how much alcohol can lead to premature birth, most doctors recommend that expecting mothers stay away from alcohol because children born prematurely often suffer from underdeveloped organs, low weight, and mental disorders.
- Brain damage: Alcohol addiction during pregnancy can lead to brain damage that manifests as learning disabilities or behavioral problems as the child grows.
- Birth Defects: Fetuses exposed to alcohol can suffer from congenital disabilities like heart defects, fetal alcohol syndrome, vision and hearing problems, or physical deformities in the arms, legs, or other parts of the body
- Low birth weight: Often associated with premature birth, when an individual abuses alcohol while pregnant, it can hinder a child’s full development increases the risk of complications.
- Miscarriage or stillbirth: Even small amounts of alcohol increase the risk of a miscarriage. This can have a severe impact on a woman’s ability to have children in the future and can contribute to other health issues. Alcohol abuse also increases the chances of a stillbirth.
Pregnancy and Addiction: Opiates and Prescription Drugs
Addiction to opiates or opioids often leads to complications during pregnancy, similar to the issues that can arise due to alcohol abuse. However, because opiates and opioids are so potent, children born from addicted mothers are addicted themselves. A mother addicted to opioids stands a very high chance of giving birth to an infant with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). While pregnant, the fetus connected to its mother through the umbilical cord was exposed to the drugs absorbing it into their system. Once born and separated from the source of the drugs, infants immediately experience withdrawal. NAS requires extra medical treatment and extra time in the hospital after birth, causing developmental harm and often crippling families financially.
Some individuals may wonder how pregnancy and addiction could arise from prescription drugs. It’s not uncommon for individuals to inadvertently abuse prescription drugs. This is especially true of opioid painkillers, and the consequences of that have been made clear. However, another kind of prescription drug abuse can be medication for mood disorders like benzodiazepines or benzos. Like Valium or Xanax, these drugs can lead individuals to become dependent upon them over time as their use becomes common. However, several prescription drugs are known to be harmful to a growing fetus. If a woman continues using prescriptions drugs during pregnancy, the infant may suffer from the following:
- Developmental problems
- Learning disorders
- Heart disorders
- Issues with the central nervous system
- Vision or hearing problems
- Low birth weight
- Smaller head, which will result in lower IQ
- Heart failure
- Brain structural changes
Thus, it’s vital to find addiction treatment as soon as possible when someone discovers they are pregnant.
Sunlight Medical Services
No matter the substance use disorder, we have an addiction recovery program that can help you or your loved one. We offer substance abuse treatment programs such as:
- Fentanyl Addiction Treatment Program
- Heroin Addiction Treatment Program
- Opiate Addiction Treatment Program
- Opioid Addiction Treatment Program
- Prescription Drug Addiction Treatment Program
Within each of these treatment programs, we provide extensive therapeutic services. Because addiction is a complex disease with physical and mental aspects, clients must get the right therapy to suit their needs. Some of the programs we offer include:
- Group Therapy Program
- Individual Therapy Program
- Cognitive-behavioral Therapy
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy
Reach out to us today at 855.920.1104 to talk to one of our admissions counselors to learn more.