Drug abuse during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage, preterm labor, birth defects, stillbirth, withdrawal symptoms in the baby after birth, infant death syndrome (SIDS), delayed fetal development, and cognitive and behavioral problems in the baby after birth. Additionally, women who abuse drugs intravenously – such as heroin and cocaine – are more likely to contract HIV, which can be passed on to their babies.
As a drug rehab in Pennsylvania that offers addiction treatment for pregnant women, we’re sharing more on the process of detoxing from drugs while pregnant and how it works.
Can You Detox While Pregnant?
According to a 2012 survey of pregnant women between the ages of 15 and 44, 12.4% reported alcohol use, 17.6% reported tobacco use, and 5% reported illicit drug use. Illicit drug use among pregnant women varies widely depending on age.1
For example, teenage pregnant women (between ages 15 and 17) have the highest rates of illicit drug use (20.9%), followed by 8.2% of young adult women (between ages 18 and 25), and 2.2% of adult women between the ages of 26 and 44.1
While these numbers may seem small in comparison to drug use among the general population, or the rate of opioid overdose deaths in the nation, the fact that these women are pregnant makes the situation even more dangerous. One way that addiction is treated in pregnant women is with detox.
Medically assisted detox is the process of weaning someone off drugs while treating their withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms can be extremely uncomfortable, painful, and even life-threatening, especially in cases where the patient is pregnant.
A medically supervised detox, however, is led by medical staff to ensure that the mother and baby are both as safe and healthy as possible. So to be clear, yes, you can detox while pregnant, but it should never be attempted at home.
Trying to quit drugs cold-turkey increases the risk of permanent damage to the mother and baby and even death. If you’re searching for detox options, our drug rehab in Pennsylvania can help.
Possible Symptoms of Detoxing From Drugs While Pregnant
The goal of undergoing drug detox while pregnant is to flush out all addictive substances from the body. Depending on the drug in question, the doses being taken, and the duration of drug use, the detoxification process can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.
Even for people who aren’t pregnant, drug detox programs are recommended to be conducted under the care of professionals. In cases of pregnancy, this recommendation is that much stronger, as the safety of both the mother and unborn child needs to be monitored.
Below are some possible symptoms of detoxing while pregnant to be mindful of:
- Muscle aches
- Abdominal cramping
- Sweats and chills
- Flu-like symptoms
- Stomach upset
While these symptoms may not seem problematic, they can quickly lead to more serious problems. For instance, consistent vomiting and diarrhea can lead to dehydration, while muscle aches and abdominal cramping can increase the urge to use drugs again (relapse). Additionally, cramping of any kind, especially in the abdomen, may be related to detox or a complication with your pregnancy.
Not only does a medical staff monitor these symptoms, but they can also monitor the baby’s health. Rather than becoming dehydrated or getting to the point where they’d need emergency help, a safe detox for pregnancy provides preemptive medical assistance – such as IVs to keep clients dehydrated – to prevent any complications from even occurring.
Safe Drug Detox for Pregnancy at Clearbrook
No mother, whether she’s addicted to drugs or not, wants her unborn child to be harmed. No mother wants her baby to be born anything but healthy when they’re born. However, when expecting mothers have drug use disorders, their baby’s health automatically takes a backseat to their urge to use.
Quitting addiction can be difficult, but help is available, even for pregnant women with drug addictions. Our rehab for pregnant women in Pennsylvania offers medical detox, psychotherapy, and aftercare support to ensure that our clients receive the care they and their babies need to get and stay clean.
To learn more about detoxing from drugs while pregnant and how we can help, call Clearbrook Treatment Centers today at 570-536-9621.