During addiction treatment, pregnant women require specialized care, because they have an extra responsibility. On top of all the demands that come with regular treatment, they also have to care for their unborn child. It’s difficult. Presently, only 19 states offer drug treatment programs specifically for pregnant women, and only nine offer pregnant women priority admission to drug treatment programs.
Of all the demographics that need addiction treatment, it could be argued that pregnant addicts need it the most. It’s not just their lives on the line, but the lives of their children, too. For that reason, women that use drugs or drink excessively while pregnant are good candidates for treatment.
Children who are born to substance-abusing mothers are at a higher risk for all sorts of complications, including premature birth, birth defects, neonatal withdrawal, and even stillbirth. Throughout their whole lives, they’re much more likely than the rest of the population to struggle with addiction themselves, along with all the mental illness that tends to coincide – depression, high anxiety, bipolar disorder, etc.
On top of the therapy and counseling that make up any addiction treatment program, pregnant women require prenatal medication, parental counseling, a special kind of support system, and extra financial support. Most clinics conduct regular physical check-ups on pregnant patients to ensure that both the mother and baby are healthy. Doctors also limit the types of drugs pregnant patients can take, or choose to administer certain drugs specifically to minimize risk to the baby.
Aside from those factors, addiction treatment for pregnant women is basically traditional: assessment, detox, counseling, and aftercare. As stated earlier, pregnant women are generally prioritized by private facilities and public programs offering price breaks.
Pregnancy alone can be overwhelmingly stressful, but during recovery, it doesn’t have to be an obstacle. Unlike most other demographics, all pregnant women have at least one objectively important reason to seek addiction treatment. Many addicts don’t manage to get sober until they get pregnant. The desire to protect, care for, and raise our offspring is as deeply embedded in our brains as the mechanics that lead to addiction.
Many addicted women are afraid to seek substance abuse treatment. In 15 states, drug abuse during pregnancy is considered a form of child abuse. If you’re worried about what will happen if you turn to a doctor or social worker, you can trust us to help you. For a consultation, call 800-910-9299.
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