Heroin Use and Pregnancy

The use of heroin during pregnancy is associated with a number of negative consequences for the baby, including low birth weight, heroin withdrawal symptoms after birth, and delayed effects of the drug use seen between the ages 4 months and 6 months. Developmental delays physically and mentally are a possible concern as well.

Environmental factors such as the fact that few women who are addicted to heroin get prenatal care and the risk of using dirty and infected needles only increases the number of possible issues that both you and your baby could face as a result of heroin addiction.

If you are pregnant and addicted to or using heroin, you are considered a “high risk” pregnancy and you should seek immediate medical attention.


heroin withdrawal medicationBoth taking heroin and heroin withdrawal can have a negative impact on your baby, and withdrawal effects are considered to be more dangerous because they can result in miscarriage. Methadone and buprenorphine may be options for mothers who want to get heroin addiction treatment during pregnancy:

  • Methadone maintenance allows pregnant mothers the option of delaying withdrawal without continuing the risks associated with heroin addiction and use (i.e., using needles, varied degree of impurity of the drug, possible overdose). However, the baby will be born addicted to methadone and will be treated for withdrawal when she is born.
  • The effectiveness of buprenorphine and its effects on pregnant women and their babies has not yet been researched, but it is available.

Social Effects

When you find out you are pregnant, it can provide the motivation you’ve been looking for to change your life and break your addiction to heroin. However, admitting to a doctor or to your family that you are addicted to heroin when you are pregnant can be difficult. No one wants to be labeled a bad mother before their child is even born.

It’s important to remember that by choosing heroin rehab and heroin detox, you are being an excellent mother: you are putting your child’s needs first.

Legal Issues

heroin and legal issuesWomen who are struggling with heroin addiction and are pregnant have another concern: you may not be allowed to keep your child if you are actively using when you give birth. You could have your child taken away from you in the hospital if she is born addicted and you are not undergoing treatment for heroin addiction. However you came to heroin addiction, however you came to be pregnant, you can start making choices now that have yours and your child’s best interests at heart: get the help you need to make sure that when your baby is born, the two of you can start a new life together.

Heroin Rehab at The Canyon

At The Canyon, we serve women who are pregnant and addicted to any drug, including heroin. If you would like to enter into a heroin detox or heroin addiction treatment, contact us at The Canyon today for information on how to get started.