Drug addiction affects many women and, unfortunately, many become pregnant while in the grip of their illness. If you have found yourself in this situation, you may be wondering what you can do and possibly how to drug detox while pregnant.
You should be aware that continuing to abuse drugs while pregnant could affect your unborn baby. If you want to get treatment, you should do so as soon as possible. The quicker you get clean, the better it will be for both you and your child.
What to Think About
There are a number of things you will need to consider if you discover you are pregnant. You may be in shock having found out you are to have a child and you might also be deeply worried that your baby may have already been harmed by your substance use.
It is likely that you continued to abuse drugs before finding out that you were pregnant, and you may now be worried that damage has already been done. There is no way to know for sure at this stage, but if you are less than six weeks pregnant and any major damage has been caused to the embryo before you discovered you were pregnant, it is likely that you will suffer a miscarriage.
However, if you do not miscarry and you make the decision to get clean and sober now, your baby will have a great chance of being just fine. Even if you are further along than six weeks and you have been using heavily, there is a chance that your baby could still be born okay, as long as you get treatment right now. In a nutshell, the sooner you get sober, the better your babys chances are of being born healthy.
It is true that some drugs are more harmful to an unborn child than others are. Moreover, how they affect your unborn baby will usually depend on the type of drug you were using, how heavily you used it, and how long you have been using for. Speak to a midwife or consultant at your local maternity hospital to find out what your chances are of having a healthy baby. There may be some tests that can be carried out to determine the health of your unborn baby.
Continuing with the Pregnancy
Although your mind may be clouded from your addiction, it is important that you try to think carefully about what you want to do now. Do you want to continue with the pregnancy? If so, you are going to have to do all you can to get clean, and you will need to find out how to drug detox while pregnant. This can be a complicated process and you will definitely need professional help.
If you want to have your child, you need to think about whether you are in a good place to have a baby right now, or if you can sort yourself out enough to be able to support both you and your child. If you have family members who will provide support, then you may find it easier to get back on your feet.
A pregnancy can often be the catalyst for change when it comes to illnesses such as drug addiction; you may find that it makes you determined to get clean for the sake of your child. You might already have a sense of overwhelming love for the person growing inside you, which could be all you need to get your life back on track.
If your midwife and consultant believe that you have a good chance of having a healthy baby if you get clean now, and if you believe you can support yourself and a baby, then you will more than likely decide to continue with the pregnancy. Now you need to think about getting clean!
Detoxing While Pregnant
A drug detox is a complicated process for anyone, but when pregnant you will need to take extra care. It is important that you try to find a detox clinic that will accept you and where there are staff who specialise in helping pregnant women to separate themselves from drugs.
At the very least, you should never enter a drug detox programme without informing the staff that you are pregnant. Some of the drugs prescribed to help with drug withdrawal could be harmful to an unborn child, so you must tell the staff you are pregnant.
A slow and supervised detox in the second trimester is often recommended for pregnant women, particularly those addicted to drugs. While some doctors might decide that a replacement drug such as buprenorphine or methadone is the best option to help you withdraw from the drug you were addicted to, it would be better for you and your baby if you were to get completely clean.
It is true that your baby is likely to be healthier if you are taking these drugs rather than if you continue abusing opioid medication or heroin, for example, but you should know that your baby is still likely to be born with health problems if you take any chemical substance while pregnant. In fact, babies born to mothers taking medications such as methadone or buprenorphine can be born addicted to these drugs themselves.
Nevertheless, maintenance drugs can make it easier for you to get clean, so it may be the case that you are provided with methadone or buprenorphine in decreasing doses over the course of a few weeks until you can stop taking them completely. This will help to reduce the chances of severe withdrawal symptoms, but it will mean you can get completely clean long before your baby is due. Knowing how to drug detox while pregnant will help you and your baby to stay safe.
The first stage of getting clean and sober is the aforementioned drug detox, but you need to learn how to stay that way. Thankfully, you will have a great motivation to stay sober, which will keep you in good stead throughout your pregnancy, but you may still experience drug cravings from time to time, so you need to know how to deal with them.
During a programme of rehab, you will not only learn how to avoid drug cravings, but you will also learn the reasons you became addicted in the first place. It is important that you deal with these issues as failure to do so could see you in trouble again at a later date.
Make sure that you tell any rehab provider beforehand that you are pregnant because they will need to know this before creating a suitable treatment programme for you. You are likely to be given a bespoke treatment plan that is catered to your specific requirements. This will probably include a range of traditional therapies such as counselling and group therapy sessions in conjunction with holistic therapies such as art therapy and music therapy. Your programme might also include nutrition education, which will benefit both you and your baby, as well as relapse prevention seminars to help you avoid a return to addictive behaviour in the future.
We Can Help You Detox while Pregnant
Getting clean will be your priority right now, so knowing how to drug detox while pregnant is very important. You should never attempt to detox alone and never suddenly stop taking the drugs you have been abusing. Quitting suddenly can be dangerous for both you and your unborn child. While it is important that you get clean as soon as possible for the sake of your child, but you must do this the right way.
For more information about how to drug detox while pregnant, or to find a clinic near to you, please call UK Rehab today. We can provide you with helpful advice about what to do next.