Do you know how to clean your system while pregnant and using drugs?
Many people may make wrong assumptions about a woman who is pregnant and using drugs. They may believe that people who use drugs, such as heroin, shoot up in dark, back alleys, resorting to crime and prostitution to buy more drugs.
In some cases, this may be true. There are woman addicted to heroin who become pregnant through prostitution and rape. In some cases, they may choose not to continue with the pregnancy, or they may choose to go through with it. Either way, they are human beings who deserve our respect and support.
Addiction affects pregnant women from all walks of life.
Yet, many women who use drugs and become pregnant live normal lives, working or raising a family, and spending time with family and friends. Often, no one knows about their drug problem. They are functional and able to hide it from the people closest to them.
A woman who becomes pregnant while using drugs does not necessarily become pregnant by accident. It is possible for a woman to live a normal life in every way while using drugs, and even have plans and hopes of having children. However, drug use puts you and your baby at risk. Is there a safe detox during pregnancy that can help you to quit right away?
If you are a woman who is pregnant and using drugs, you may be panicking about what to do now. You want to do what is best for the baby and get the drugs out of your system once and for all.
Drug detoxing while pregnant involves more than getting the drugs out of your system.
Unfortunately, it is not as easy as detoxing and cleaning out all the drugs. The drugs that are in your body now are not the entire problem. Getting the drugs out is relatively easy. You just have to stop using them. The problem is how your body and mind will likely react to having the drugs taken away.
In many cases, going to an inpatient detox center may be the best option. If your drug of choice is alcohol, then there are serious risks to your health as well as the health of the fetus. Fetal alcohol syndrome can lead to life-long problems for your child, so it is best to quit drinking as soon as possible.
Alcohol detoxing while pregnant should be done only under medical supervision.
If you are drinking and pregnant, there are significant risks, not only from the toxic effects of alcohol, but also the withdrawal syndrome that ensues after you quit drinking. A medical detox program will ensure that your alcohol detox is performed as safely as possible to protect you and your unborn child.
An alternative program for quitting alcohol is The Sinclair Method, or TSM. While TSM may not be recognized as ideal for pregnant women who are addicted to alcohol, it may be considered in some situations where other forms of detox and rehab are inaccessible. TSM involves using the medication naltrexone to extinguish the alcohol cravings from the reward center of the brain.
blocks opioid receptors in the central nervous system. Certain addictive behaviors are characterized by the release of endorphins that stimulate opioid receptors. This provides a pleasurable reward for the addictive behavior. By blocking access to the receptors, the behavior, drinking alcohol in this case, diminishes over time.
Is The Sinclair Method safe for pregnant women?
The drawback to using The Sinclair Method during pregnancy is that naltrexone is not proven to be safe for pregnant women and the fetus, and, the protocol involves continuing to drink a small amount of alcohol after taking naltrexone. Many prescribing physicians would not be comfortable allowing for ongoing alcohol use in a pregnant patient. However, if no other options are available to the patient, the benefits may outweigh the risks. Additionally, TSM has a very high success rate with regard to long-term sobriety, compared to other forms of alcohol use disorder treatments.
When it comes to various other drugs, the risks may not be as severe as with alcohol, but they are still there. Cocaine, amphetamines, and methamphetamine do not cause the same difficult physical withdrawal syndromes associated with alcohol and opioids, but there are still serious risks to the fetus and mother. Quitting these stimulant drugs is very difficult due to the psychological addiction and cravings. There is also no medical therapy that is currently approved for treating stimulant addiction. Rehab may be the best option to simply give you support and separation from the environment where you had access to drugs.
With the high cost of rehab and reduced insurance coverage, it may be worth looking into rehab alternatives.
There are recovery travel programs and sober companion programs that may work well for some individuals. If rehab is not an appealing option, you may want to research these alternatives.
Opioid addiction includes addiction to the use of heroin, fentanyl, morphine, oxycodone, dilaudid, or one of the many prescription, street, and designer synthetic opioids that are often misused. Opioid use disorder is unique in that there are programs of Medication-assisted treatment
that are highly effective.
These MAT programs typically do not require a stay in an inpatient detox or rehab facility. The most effective MAT protocols involve the use of methadone or buprenorphine. Methadone is dispensed on a daily basis at special methadone maintenance clinics.
, the main ingredient in Suboxone
, is prescribed, usually on a weekly or monthly basis, by outpatient clinic doctors. Your family doctor might even be a Suboxone doctor. Any licensed physician can get certified to prescribe Suboxone and similar buprenorphine based medications.
If you are pregnant and addicted to opioids, you can still go to an MAT program.
and buprenorphine treatment are still very effective, and relatively safe, for pregnant women. When you take opioids throughout your pregnancy, there is a significant risk that your baby will be born addicted to opioids and go through withdrawal shortly after they are born. You also risk having an overdose or one or more of many other health and safety risks associated with opioid use.
Opioid use is the most dangerous form of drug use because of the high risk of respiratory depression and overdose. Heroin, fentanyl, and other opioids cause your breathing to slow and even stop if your dosage is higher than what you can handle.
MAT can save lives from the dangers of street opioids.
Street opioids can vary greatly in potency. Sometimes dealers sell heroin laced with toxic levels of fentanyl or other synthetics, such as pink heroin (U-47700), or gray death. Even prescription tablets, such as the 30 mg blue roxys may be substituted with realistic looking fakes, made of fentanyl or a designer synthetic opioid. These exotic synthetics cannot always be detected, even on the most sophisticated drug tests.
The good news about opioid addiction
is that MAT works very well. MAT has a far higher success rate than detox or rehab without long-term MAT. It also has a higher success rate compared to 12-step support programs when MAT is not used.
MAT with methadone or buprenorphine is now considered the gold standard. The best plan for an MAT program is to stick with it for at least one to two years. The ideal length of time of treatment will vary from one person to another. Yet, less than one year of treatment will likely be too short a time for most patients. Six months might be considered an absolute minimum, unless the patients has an adverse reaction to the medication.
What about benzodiazepines? Is it possible to detox off of anxiety medications to protect the pregnancy?
The withdrawal syndrome from benzodiazepines, such as Valium and Xanax, can be severe and carries a serious risk of seizures. When patients are ready to quit benzos, their doctor typically puts them on a tapering schedule.
Benzodiazepine tapering is done very gradually to prevent discomfort due to rebound anxiety. So, what about when a patient discovers that she is now pregnant while taking a significant daily dosage of a medication such as alprazolam?
The risk of benzodiazepines and pregnancy is based on studies demonstrating that a baby may be born with a cleft lip or palate when the mother took these anxiety drugs during the first trimester. More recently, these study results have been called into question.
As in all medical decision-making, the risks vs. benefits must be weighed and the patient must be fully informed so that they may take part in deciding how to proceed. In some cases, it may be justified for a patient to continue ongoing use of benzodiazepines to treat an anxiety disorder. If the patient is abusing benzodiazepines, appropriate measures should be taken to detox them off safely.
What about marijuana addiction? Can cannabis cause problems for pregnancy?
In recent years, there has been a huge push across the United States to legalize marijuana. As part of the legal cannabis movement, proponents of legalization have spread propaganda about the drug to change the public’s perception.
If you search online to find information about the dangers of marijuana, you will discover that much of the available information now promotes the safety of the drug and its usefulness in treating every medical condition imaginable. Fans of pot like to inform whoever will listen that no one has ever died from using marijuana. They also say that marijuana is not a gateway drug that leads to other, more dangerous drugs.
First, marijuana has caused deaths, in the form of motor vehicle accidents and other accidents due to marijuana intoxication. Just because the drug itself does not cause a life-threatening overdose when over consumed does not make it completely safe.
Drug detoxing while pregnant is important when it comes to marijuana.
Additionally, marijuana does cause long-term, irreversible harm to the developing brains of children and young adults. In fact, this is a concern when it comes to marijuana use in pregnant women. There may be permanent issues regarding the development of the fetus’s central nervous system. Risks include ADHD and short term memory problems.
Fortunately, quitting marijuana can be done without much concern. There is no serious withdrawal syndrome when it comes to quitting cannabis use. And, because marijuana is not a very addictive drug, many users will find that giving up the habit is not as difficult as giving up other addictive drugs.
If you are using cannabis and discover that you are pregnant, you should see your doctor as soon as possible and you should discontinue cannabis use immediately. Your doctor will be able to assess your risks of danger to the pregnancy and make appropriate referrals.
Should I see my doctor first or go straight to rehab if I use drugs and I discover that I am pregnant?
If you are able to visit your doctor as soon as you find out that you are pregnant, then it is reasonable to start by seeing your doctor to discuss the issue of drug use and pregnancy. In some cases, you may find yourself in an emergency situation where going to the nearest ER is the best decision.
For example, if you use opioids and you are pregnant and you have an overdose or serious adverse reaction, you must go to the hospital ER as soon as possible. More emergency departments are training doctors and staff to handle starting opioid addiction treatment. They are also prepared to coordinate ongoing, long-term care. ER-initiated opioid addiction treatment is an effective way to get opioid users into treatment quickly, before there is another adverse event.
Are there new developments coming that will improve medical detoxification in pregnancy?
Drug addiction is an interesting condition that manifests differently depending on the drug of choice. Scientific progress has been slow in discovering the mechanisms of addiction in the brain and in developing new treatments. When it comes to pregnancy, the research of medical therapeutics is limited by the fact that studying the effects of drugs on pregnant women is unethical.
Interestingly, there has been developments in the use of technology and software in developing therapeutics to treat addiction. Prescription digital therapeutics is a new category of addiction treatment that is still in its infancy, but shows great promise.
PDT is implemented as an app on a smart phone that delivers a form of cognitive behavioral therapy to the patient. Patients are given valuable rewards during the program, a proven and underused technique to help keep a patient on track in recovery. PDT has been used for drug addictions in general, and one company, Pear Therapeutics, has developed a special program for opioid addiction.
How to Detox Drugs Out of Your System When Pregnant safely with software technology.
As you can imagine, PDT is completely safe for use in pregnant patients. If you are trying to overcome an addiction, ask your doctor if prescription digital therapeutics may be right for you.
What about other new ways to treat addiction? Are there new and safe ways to detox while pregnant?
While development has been slow, there has been improvements made in educating patients, the public, and healthcare providers about what works and does not work in the field of addiction treatment. This is especially true when it comes to opioid addiction treatment.
For many years, there has been push back from the rehab industry against medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder. Now, rehab centers are coming around and beginning to accept MAT as an important component of opioid addiction treatment. Some rehabs are even implementing MAT as a part of their programs and coordinating with local healthcare providers to arrange for long-term treatment.
Do you know how to clean your system while pregnant if you are using drugs?
Your first step is to see your doctor. You could go to your primary care physician, family doctor, urgent care, or emergency physician. Then, once they have determined that you are medically stable, your doctor can help you to make a decision about what to do next.
If you are using opioids, discuss medication-assisted treatment with your doctor. MAT is the gold standard of treatment for opioid addiction. It works and has a high success rate. And, MAT allows you to continue with your life activities so that you can continue living at home, working, and enjoying your pregnancy without having to worry about struggling with an opioid addiction while pregnant.