Alcohol And Drug Detox While Pregnant: 5 Do’s and Don’ts
Pregnancy brings a new sense of responsibility and self-reflection. Though as beautiful as it is, it can be overwhelming and unpredictable. Things may seem even more confusing if you are struggling with substance abuse. You might be wondering if addiction has already affected the health of your unborn child and now you should opt for alcohol and drug detox while pregnant? Or, if you tell someone about addiction issues, you will be followed by negative stigma.
Let us start by saying that everything can be fixed! ChoicePoint has formulated five ultimate Do’s and Don’ts to help you to initiate, commit, and complete alcohol and drug detox while pregnant.
Save your baby from the dangers of substance abuse
Table of Contents
The 5 Do’s of An Ultimate Alcohol And Drug Detox While Pregnant
1. Educate Yourself about Complications of Drug Abuse While Pregnant
Are you here to learn about how to alcohol and drug detox while pregnant because you have learned some scary information from a friend or family? Or you might be here because you have come across information about the dangers of drug abuse and how it can even result in a miscarriage!
While the dangers of drug abuse while pregnant are real, they can be prevented with timely intervention. Yes, this means that immediate medical help can save you and your baby’s life!
We take it as a responsibility to inform you of the risks associated with alcohol and drug abuse because if you don’t know what is at stake, you may not commit to an alcohol and drug detox.
a) Complications of Alcohol and Drug Abuse During Pregnancy:
We understand that this is all very overwhelming for you. Recovery might seem far away, and you may be feeling stressed and hopeless when trying to overcome substance abuse. But don’t let this temporary discomfort scare you away!
Think about how this time will quickly pass, and soon you will have your healthy little angel in your arms. Think about what the future holds for you, the love and care you want to give your baby. For a beautiful future, you must initiate a timely drug detox while pregnant. Otherwise, there could be high-risk abnormalities that can occur to the fetus.
b) Complications of Opioid Use During Pregnancy:
Did you know that opioids are one of the most abused prescription medications? Among 7% of women who use opioid pain-relievers, 1 in 5 abuse it. Opioids act as pain-relievers. It includes prescription medications such as Morphine, Fentanyl, Oxycodone, and illegal drugs such as opium and heroin.
Opioid exposure is harmful to both mother and the developing baby. Because it can cross the placental barrier, what it means is that the opioids you intake will directly reach and affect the fetus. Several pieces of evidence highlight the adverse effect of opioids on maternal and baby’s health.
Some of these include:
i. Maternal Health
Higher rates of depression
Placental problems, including placenta abruption
High blood pressure
Heavy postpartum bleeding
Intra amniotic infection (Inflammation of fetal membranes)
During pregnancy, when you take more than the recommended dose of opioids, these reach the fetus. As a result, the baby also develops a dependence on opioids and may even become addicted to them. But, when the baby is born, he is no longer exposed to opioids. This leads to opioid withdrawal symptoms in newborns.
Drug Withdrawal in Newborns (NAS)
iv. Newborn Drug Withdrawal
If you do not seek medical assistance, there are high chances that your baby may develop withdrawal symptoms shortly after birth which can last up to six months. These symptoms are painful for the child and may include:
Tremors and seizures
Low birth weight
Speech and vision problems
Save your baby from the dangers of substance abuse
We understand that as a mother, you will never want your unborn baby to endure all this pain. However, suppose you want your baby to be completely healthy. This is only possible if you safely withdraw from drugs and initiate a timely drug detox while pregnant. How to do that? We will discuss result-oriented strategies in the upcoming headings.
c) Alcohol Abuse Can Lead to Birth Defects!
Alcohol abuse is more common than you think! According to a scientific study carried out in the United States, 8.5% of women abuse alcohol during pregnancy, which means that 550,000 fetuses are exposed to alcohol yearly.
These are some of the signs to help you determine if you are suffering from alcohol abuse:
Unable to quit alcohol even when you try to
Consuming more alcohol than usual
Hiding your drinking habit from friends and family
Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you try to quit
Suppose you think that a small amount of alcohol will have no significant effect on developing fetuses. In that case, you might be wrong because even a small amount of alcohol can have a significant effect on your baby’s growth and development. We don’t mean to scare you, but scientific evidence indicates that alcohol abuse during pregnancy has been linked to Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.
Children with FASD has these characteristics:
Smaller head size
Abnormal facial features
The smooth ridge between nose and mouth
Birth defects such as hearing issues
These risks may be avoided if you gather the courage to ask for help. ChoicePoint understands that a lot of harsh judgment follows drug abuse during pregnancy. That is why we offer a completely confidential detox with in-person and virtual addiction treatment programs that you can access from any location and the comfort of your home.
Our programs are led by experienced doctors who provide compassion and empathy while providing a safe detox. So call us at 844.445.2563 before it is too late to save your baby’s life.
d) Benzodiazepine Abuse May Result in Premature Delivery
Benzodiazepines may act as pain relievers and are used for the treatment of panic attacks and anxiety issues. We understand that you might be a single mother suffering from anxiety issues, or you might be a warrior coming out of a toxic relationship. Alternatively, a stressful environment might have pushed you to take more than recommended doses of benzodiazepines to calm your nerves.
But you need to understand benzodiazepines are not safe to use during pregnancy. Abuse may lead to:
Low birth weight
Hypotonia (decreased muscle tone)
A doctor can help you safely withdraw from benzodiazepines. Whatever the circumstances might have been in the past, just reflect on what the future holds for you. You can enjoy a safe and healthy future with your precious one by overcoming drug addiction. It might be difficult initially, but ChoicePoint is here to make the process easier for you. Our experienced team will help you achieve sustainable recovery, so please call us at 844.445.2563.
2. Detox Under Medical Supervision
There is no denying that alcohol and drug detox while pregnant can be challenging. You may have a lot of questions regarding the safety and effectiveness of medical detox. You may be concerned if medications are safe. Or, you might be scared about what to expect during a detox?
At ChoicePoint, our team of experienced medical professionals understands the risks associated with alcohol and drug detox. They are trained to help you safely withdraw from drugs. And, to give you an idea about what to expect during a detox, we have highlighted some steps of medical drug detox.
You may think that you already know if you are suffering from addiction, but addiction is a disease that requires clinical diagnosis. A proper diagnosis is required to establish a custom treatment plan. The diagnosis is usually made according to DSM-V criteria laid out by American Psychiatric Association.
According to these criteria, there are some categories of substance use disorder include:
Furthermore, the severity is defined according to these levels:
Level 1: At the risk
Level 2: Mild
Level 3: Moderate
Level 4: Severe
All types of substance abuse have a different set of criteria for clinical diagnosis. A personalized treatment plan can be set up for you according to the specific substance addiction. Another easy way to find out your addiction level is through ChoicePoint’s clinically designed free self-assessment addiction quiz. It is completely confidential, and you will get the results within a few minutes. A minute of your time can be proved beneficial in achieving long-term sobriety.
b) Medication-Assisted Treatment
A MAT program can help the safe removal of addictive substances from the body. It uses safe and effective medications to help you overcome drug abuse. Unfortunately, there are a lot of misconceptions regarding the safety of a MAT program. For example, you might think that prescription medicines can harm your baby during pregnancy.
But let us assure you that several scientific studies indicate that a supervised MAT program tends to be entirely safe. And, it also helps in long-term recovery while minimizing the discomfort associated with drug withdrawal symptoms.
Furthermore, ChoicePoint’s virtual and outpatient MAT programs utilize FDA-approved medications. Our doctors are trained and experienced in treating pregnant women.
SAMHSA has regarded these medications as safe to treat opioid use disorder during pregnancy:
Disclaimer: Don’t use these medications without medical supervision.
Unsupervised detox can have life-threatening consequences
c) Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
Do you wonder what led you towards addiction in the first place? And why is it still very painful for you to revisit the past? You may think that you have buried your past and moved on. But then, if you come across any triggers, you fall back to your old habits and resort to drugs to calm yourself.
CBT therapy can help you avoid these triggers and make peace with your past. It not only makes sobriety easier and long-lasting but can also help to identify the reasons that led you towards substance use in the first place. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of psychological therapy that can help you improve your thought process.
A common withdrawal symptom among all types of substance abuse includes depression and anxiety. This, when combined with hormones during pregnancy, can be challenging to control on your own. Only a licensed CBT therapist can help you improve your thought process and improve your emotional well-being so your mind can be at peace. And after all, a healthy mind ultimately leads to a healthy body.
d) Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
Dialectical behavioral therapy is a type of CBT; it helps to control your emotions. During pregnancy, mothers feel overwhelmed by varying emotions. On top of that, substance abuse can make things worse. But, don’t worry, ChoicePoint DBT can help you overcome substance abuse issues and any signs of mental illness so you can enjoy this magical time to the fullest.
In addition to this, ChoicePoint therapy services can:
Help you identify and avoid triggers that might lead to substance abuse
Help you adopt productive habits
Give you all the support and compassion you need
Help you remain sober even after pregnancy
Help you control substance cravings
Addiction therapy programs at ChoicePoint are led by licensed professionals. You can utilize in-person therapy services at our peaceful and purpose-built addiction treatment center, or we can treat you wherever you are through our highly effective and result-oriented virtual therapy services. To book an appointment, please call us at 844.445.2563.
e) Further Treatments
We know that you are only concerned about a safe detox for now, but it is only the first step towards addiction treatment. It helps your body prepare for further treatments by cleansing your system of any addictive substance. But don’t you think that mental and physical damage done by addiction also needs treatment?
At ChoicePoint, you don’t have to worry about finding different treatment programs. We offer every treatment you might need to overcome addiction on one platform. To learn more about our personalized treatment plans, please call us at 844.445.2563
f) Detox is Easier Than You Think!
You might be scared to start a detox because someone told you that detox is painful or that it requires you to be away from your family. Though detox can indeed be difficult, after a detox, you will begin to feel calm, peaceful, and more accomplished. ChoicePoint is committed to making this process easier for you. With ChoicePoint outpatient detox programs, you don’t have to be away from your loved ones.
Through our programs, we offer:
Convenient treatment schedules that you can easily commit to
Medication-assisted treatment to make the detox journey easier for you
Insurance covered treatments
Additional virtual therapy sessions
If you have any queries, you are welcome to contact us at 844.445.2563, and our professional representatives will help you out.
3. Look for a Specialized Detox Program for Expecting Mothers
Did you know that there are specialized detox and addiction treatment programs that cater to the needs of pregnant women only? Yes, this means that you can also connect with other expecting mothers for support and motivation. After all, one can understand your condition better than a mother going through the same condition and phase as you.
Why Look for a Special Expecting Mothers’ Addiction Treatment Program?
The reason we say that you should opt for a particular detox is that not all prescription medications for detox are safe for pregnant women. A specialized doctor is experienced in handling complications that arise due to substance abuse during pregnancy and understands the risks associated with you and your baby’s health. Look for ChoicePoint’s pregnant women drug detox program all medications we used are FDA-approved.
More of the reasons as to why a specialized program is important:
a) Safe Medications During Detox
There are some risks associated with medications used during alcohol and drug detox while pregnant. And it is crucial to trust an experienced and specialized doctor with you and your baby’s health.
i) Which medications are safe during Opioid Detox?
For opioid withdrawal, FDA has approved methadone and buprenorphine. These can be used during the detox process to ease withdrawal symptoms or may be continued throughout the treatment depending on the level of addiction.
Methadone is a long-acting opioid antagonist. It has a long half-life, which means it is effective even at lower doses. It replaces and blocks the effects of opioids. It is usually used in the detox process to reduce cravings and reduce opioid dependency. But since methadone has abuse potential, it should only be used according to the dose recommended by your clinician
Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist. It works by occupying opioid receptors. Empty opioid receptors produce the urge to use drugs. When occupied by buprenorphine, the receptor is no longer active and hence, lesser cravings. An advantage of buprenorphine is that it has lower abuse potential than methadone. So, for milder opioid abuse, it is a preferred medication.
ii) Some Alcohol Detox Medications that are safe for pregnant women
An unsupervised detox can be life-threatening to you and your baby! NIDA reports that alcoholism doubles the chances of the stillbirth of premature babies. There is still time to avoid risks associated with alcohol abuse by utilizing an alcohol detox program.
The process of alcohol detox varies from person to person. It varies according to the type and severity of substance abuse. Generally, a MAT program is combined with therapy to help you detox while pregnant.
Some Medications prescribed in the MAT program includes:
Although the FDA approves these drugs, they are classified in the D category. This means that there can be potential risks, but the benefits offered to outweigh any risks.
Hence, you should always consult a doctor and follow his advice about which medicine to use and the duration of medication. At ChoicePoint, licensed professionals lead our expecting mothers’ detox program. This means that they are experienced in prescribing safe medications and deal with any side effects that may arise during alcohol detox while pregnant.
b) A Specialized Detox Have Coordination with Gynaecologist
Another reason to opt for a specialized detox program targeted towards expecting mothers is that the clinician helping you recover from substance abuse will communicate with your gynecologist. This works great because this coordination will help you see that you and your baby are doing great.
Also, any change in the treatment plan can be coordinated well with your doctor. Thus, one can expect a safe pregnancy throughout the addiction treatment.
Save your baby from the dangers of substance abuse
c) ChoicePoint Expecting Mothers’ Addiction Treatment Program
You can trust ChoicePoint to provide a safe environment for you to recover from drugs and alcohol addiction. Through our cutting-edge virtual addiction treatment programs, you can complete all aspects of your treatment without even leaving your home.
Furthermore, our comprehensive treatment plans can help:
Reduce drugs craving
Dual-diagnosis to treat co-occurring disorders
Streamline communication with a gynecologist to monitor you and your baby’s health
Therapy to help you heal so you can enjoy this precious time
Ask yourself, why are you delaying your treatment? If you are worried about any financial constraints, then don’t worry; ChoicePoint accepts all insurances to remove any financial barriers that might come your way.
So don’t delay your treatment any further, and connect with a doctor today by calling us at 844.445.2563 or visit our in-person detox center at the Fair Lawn location in Bergen County, New Jersey. The more you wait, the more the chances of risks associated with drug abuse.
4. Choose the Right Detox Program
Now that you have committed to overcoming drug abuse to have a beautiful and healthy future with your child, the next step would be to choose a detox program.
You might be a working woman and wondering how to get treatment around your working and social responsibilities? With ChoicePoint’s outpatient addiction treatment programs, you can fulfill all your social responsibilities alongside treatment because our flexible treatments are made to fit any schedule.
However, If you think you may want some time away from work or social life to self-reflect and heal, inpatient treatment might be the best option for you.
The setting of the detox program also depends on the type of drug abuse and the severity of the addiction. But some options to look for are:
a) Ambulatory Detox Without Extended Onsite Monitoring
Ambulatory detox is an outpatient treatment. In this type of detox, you are not required to stay at the facility. You can return home after attending your treatment session.
This may be an option for you if you are suffering from milder addiction and you have a support system that will help you stay committed and recover.
b) Ambulatory Detox With Extended Onsite Monitoring
This is also a type of outpatient detoxification, but it is best suited for pregnant women with moderate levels of addiction. It requires the availability of clinicians, doctors, and nurses who can monitor your condition for hours while you are receiving treatment.
c) Residential Detox
Inpatient or residential detox is best suited for expecting mothers suffering from moderate to severe addiction. Inpatient detox is very effective in avoiding all the triggers. It gives a chance to self-reflect so you can focus on becoming a better version of yourself.
However, after detox, some mothers face difficulties in adjusting back to their everyday social life. So, it is important to adopt some productive hobbies during rehab and commit to the treatment till the very end.
Also, therapy is the key to self-identification. Completing therapy sessions will help in assisting any problem adjusting back to your normal family life.
5. Commit to the Treatment Till the Very End
You may think that this is an unnecessary thing to reinforce. While we believe a hundred percent that you will initiate a detox, you also need to commit to the treatment till the very end.
There may come a time when you will have an urge to use drugs again. Remember, the desire is temporary, but the side effects it will leave on your baby’s health can be long-term.
Also, after delivery, some mothers feel postpartum depression which may push them towards drug abuse again. Only a licensed professional can help you cope with it. So, even if you start to feel better, never miss your follow-up appointments till the doctor advises that your treatment is completed.
Outcomes of Therapy During Alcohol and Drug Detox While Pregnant!
Aftercare Strategies to Make Your Recovery Long-Lasting
Addiction can not be treated with a detox program alone. To make recovery long-lasting, both physical and mental issues must be addressed. Without proper aftercare strategies, there is high chance that you might revert back to old addiction patterns in presence of triggers.
To make a recovery long-lasting we recommend that you follow these aftercare strategies:
Attend therapy sessions – Therapy will help your mind heal so you never have to rely on drugs again.
Attend counseling sessions – Counseling can help you identify and avoid triggers.
Rely on a sober support group – Support groups will keep you motivated.
Inform your doctor about your cravings – Your doctor can help curb your cravings to avoid relapse.
Unsupervised detox can have life-threatening consequences.
The 5 Don’ts of Alcohol And Drug Detox While Pregnant That May Cost You the Healthy Future of Your Baby
But you are still delaying your treatment. Why? This may be because you are worried about the financial aspects of having a baby and the costs associated with addiction treatment. Or, you might be worried that if anyone finds about your addiction issues, you will be met with harsh judgments and baseless criticism.
But let us assure you that at ChoicePoint, you only receive compassion, love, and support during the course of treatment. We respect your privacy, and all your treatment will be confidential. And bonus point? Our treatments are covered by insurance. We accept all insurances to provide you cost-effective financial plans. If you are unsure about your insurance, please verify your insurance by filling out this form.
Why Should You Seek Immediate Help?
You should seek immediate medical help because of the life-threatening complications during pregnancy. More of the reasons include:
a) Increased Risk of Miscarriage
Studies indicate the once a week alcohol consumption increases the risk of miscarriage by 2.5% and three times a week increases that chance to a whopping 40%. We know that you want a healthy baby during pregnancy with no chances of drug-associated birth defects. If you are struggling with substance abuse and looking for drug detox while pregnant, ChoicePoint is here to help you. Please reach out to us at 844.445.2563
b) The More You Wait, The Harder The Recovery
Your body has already developed a dependence on the substance. If you wait any longer, you will also develop tolerance to it.
This means that you will gradually keep on increasing the dose to achieve the desired effect. The more tolerance and dependence you develop, the more intense the withdrawal symptoms and harder the recovery.
c) More Hurt For Your Loved Ones
Your loved ones are encouraging you throughout your journey of drug detox while pregnant. Think about all the love and support they have given you. Think about how let-down they will feel when they will learn that you are avoiding your treatment?. If you don’t change your habits, you will eventually push them away. And, this is not what you want, so please do not hurt your relationships by delaying the treatment.
2. Don’t Leave Drugs ‘Cold Turkey’
As tempted as you may be to leave drugs on your own, don’t do it! Cold turkey is a method to leave drugs at once rather than slowly tapering them off. Though it might work for milder addiction, it is still an extremely unsafe option. This is because of life-threatening withdrawal symptoms. These include intense seizures and even death!
Quitting Substances Cold Turkey Risks!
Withdrawal symptoms during pregnancy depend on the type of substance you use.
a) Opioids Withdrawal Symptoms
Unsupervised and sudden withdrawal from opioids is very risky. It can lead to:
High blood pressure
Breathing distress in an unborn baby
Chances of the baby to develop neonatal abstinence syndrome
Chances of an opioid overdose if you relapse
Depression and anxiety, which can increase due to pregnancy hormones
b) Benzodiazepines Withdrawal Symptoms
If you suddenly stop taking benzodiazepines without detox, you may experience intense withdrawal symptoms such as:
Depression and anxiety
Delirium- changes in the brain that leads to mental confusion
c) Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms
If you have a severe addiction and you quit alcohol without any medical supervision, it can lead to alcohol withdrawal symptoms such as:
Nausea and vomiting
Severe seizures, which may also include apnea (difficulty in breathing)
All of these withdrawal symptoms are real and fatal! So, it is highly advised that you seek medical help as home remedies could cost your baby’s life. Reach out to us by calling at 844.445.2563 or visit our outpatient detox center at Fair Lawn location in Bergen County, New Jersey, so we can help you avoid risks associated with withdrawal symptoms.
Save your baby from the dangers of substance abuse
3. Withholding Information Will Only Slow Down Your Recovery – Do not Withhold Any Information
Revisiting your past might be difficult for you. Some of these memories may be so painful that you might feel embarrassed talking about them. But remember, your doctors and therapists are there for your help. No matter how painful your memory might be, a therapist can help you make peace with it so you can progress towards recovery.
For this, you have to trust them and communicate with them so they can help you out.
Some Information Should Never Hold Back
Communicate with your doctor at every step of your treatment. But, some information you should never hold back includes:
History of substance abuse
Mental health issues
If the treatment process becomes too painful for you
If you experience a relapse
Intense withdrawal symptoms
If the urge to use drugs increases
4. Never Miss out on Therapy
You may think that an addiction treatment or detox is enough for you, but a medical detox combined with therapy can yield the best results.
What Happens if You Miss Out on Therapy?
Therapy is essential during alcohol and drug detox while pregnant. Talking out loud gives shape and meaning to words. You begin to process your words and thoughts.
But, if you don’t utilize therapy services along with addiction treatment, you may experience:
Increased chances of relapse
Increased chances of anxiety and depressive thoughts
Unresolved past traumas
No treatment for the cause of addiction
Difficulty in managing emotions
Difficulty in dealing with postpartum depression
Therapy can Also Improve your Physical Health.
Therapy treats not only mental health but also improves physical health by reducing headaches, migraines, digestive problems, and sleep cycle improvement. Hence, it is highly recommended that you avail therapy services along with addiction treatment so you can claim the full benefits of the treatment.
Please call us at 844.445.2563 to schedule an appointment with our therapist. We can help you overcome mental health issues so you can lead a clean, productive, and sober lifestyle.
5. Don’t Quit! Yes, Even After A Relapse
Don’t let your mistakes consume you! Recovery is about small steps taken in the right direction. A small failure of relapse should not distract you from reaching your ultimate goal towards sobriety.
At any stage of recovery, if you experience a relapse, it is vital to learn from it. Identify your mistakes that led towards relapse and take a note not to repeat those mistakes. It is also essential to inform your doctor and your therapist about the relapse so they can help you cope with it.
Never Leave in the Middle of Treatment
Another important thing is, don’t leave the treatment in the middle of your recovery. When you start feeling better, you may think that you have recovered from addiction. You start missing appointments and leave treatment in the middle of sessions. However, only your doctor and clinician can assess when the treatment has been completed.
If you leave treatment in the middle, there are greater chances of relapse. A complete alcohol and drug detox followed by comprehensive treatment and therapy is the way towards long-term sobriety.
Some Pointers to Help You Commit Till the End of The Treatment
ChoicePoint aims to make the recovery process easier for you. That is why we present you with some tips to help you commit to the treatment. These include:
Focus on the ultimate goal to reach sobriety
Plan ahead and formulate a strategy about how to manage social commitments
Surround yourself with love and support
Self reflect and ask yourself why you are doing this
Assess what is at stake if you do not complete your treatment
The Bottom Line
If there is one thing that should be taken away from this blog is, when looking for ways to alcohol and drug detox while pregnant, always opt for medical detox. You might come across some home remedies or self-medication guides on the internet, but these have minimal scientific research backing the claims and can be life-threatening to an unborn child. It is strongly recommended to please always entrust your baby’s well-being to a professional doctor.
ChoicePoint has a variety of detox and addiction treatment programs. A specialized expecting mothers’ detox and addiction treatment program is led by top-of-the-field experts who can help you to drug detox while pregnant. Every minute is crucial. Connect with our medical practitioners and licensed therapists so they can help you recover. Now is your moment to get your life back from addiction and make sure the safety of your unborn child.
ChoicePoint aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use disorder and mental health issues. Our team of licensed medical professionals research, edit and review the content before publishing. However, this information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. For medical advice please consult your physicians or ChoicePoint's qualified staff.