Heroin Use and Pregnancy

Heroin use during pregnancy is dangerous as it leads to a variety of negative consequences for the baby. For example, the baby is more likely to have a low birth weight. The child may even show heroin withdrawal symptoms after birth. There can also be delayed effects of the drug use that are typically seen between the ages 4 months and 6 months. Developmental delays,both physically and mentally, are a concern as well.

Environmental factors from heroin abuse are also a risk to both the mother and her baby. On many occasions,heroin usersdo not receive any form of prenatal care. The use of dirty and/or infected needles raises the risk of disease such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C or HIV.

In some cases, Neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) can develop. NAS occurs when heroin passes through the placenta to the fetus during pregnancy. This causes the baby to become dependent to heroin along with the mother. Some common symptoms of NAS include excessive crying, fever, irritability, seizures, slow weight gain, tremors, diarrhea, vomiting, and even death.[1] NAS requires hospitalization and is often treated with morphine. Eventually the medication is tapered off as the baby adjusts to life without opiates. If you are pregnant and addicted to or using heroin, you are considered a “high risk” pregnancy. Please seek immediate medical attention today.

Medication To Help You Stay Clean

heroin withdrawal medicationNot only is the heroin use a concern, heroin withdrawal can also have a negative impact on the baby.Some withdrawal effects can even result in miscarriage. For mothers who want to receive heroin addiction treatment during pregnancy, Methadone and buprenorphine are two possible options.

Methadone maintenance allows pregnant mothers the option of delaying withdrawal without continuing heroin use. However, the baby will be born addicted to methadone.The baby will be treated for withdrawal after birth.Research has shown that the infants whose mothers were treated with buprenorphine experienced milder cases of NAS than those infants exposed to methadone.[2]

Legal Problems With Drug Use and Pregnancy

heroin and legal issuesWomen with heroin addiction may not be allowed to keep their child if they are actively using drugs when the baby is born.In some cases,the authorities in the hospital may take the child into custody. However, there is good news. When you go to heroin addiction treatment, you can start making healthy choices now. Get the help you need to make sure that when your baby is born, the two of you can start a healthy life together.

Start A New Life for You and Your Child

If you find out you are pregnant, this can provide the motivation to change your life. You can break your addiction to heroin. However, it can be difficult to tell to a doctor or family member you are addicted to drugs. Please call us now and we can provide you with support. It’s important to remember that when you choose to get clean, you are being an excellent mother. You are putting your child’s needs first. You can show others you have the desire to get healthy and to move forward.

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, please contact us at The Canyon today for information on how to get started.

[1]https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/heroin/how-does-heroin-abuse-affect-pregnant-women How does Heroin Use Affect Pregnant Women?

[2]https://www.drugabuse.gov/news-events/nida-notes/2012/07/buprenorphine-during-pregnancy-reduces-neonate-distress#box Buprenorphine During Pregnancy Reduces Neonate Distress.