Opioids and Pregnancy

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Drug Addiction

You take prescription painkillers or use heroin, and you’ve just found out you may be pregnant.

Now what?

Research tells us NOT to suddenly stop taking opioids. It could cause severe health problems for you or your baby. According to MedlinePlus and other sources, “stopping suddenly during pregnancy may be more harmful than taking the medicines.”

What should you do? 

Contact your health care provider. If you don’t have access to a trusted medical professional, you are always welcome to contact us at New Season for expert advice and guidance at 1-877-284-7074 or newseason@cmglp.com

Why you should seek help?

Taking opioids during pregnancy can cause problems for you and your baby. MedlinePlus succinctly outlines the possible risks as such:

  • Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS): withdrawal symptoms in newborns, including irritability, seizures, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and poor feeding
  • Gastroschisis: a birth defect of the baby’s abdomen where the intestines stick outside of the body through a hole beside the belly button
  • Loss of the baby, either miscarriage (before 20 weeks of pregnancy) or stillbirth (after 20 or more weeks)

How do you know if you’re “addicted”?

Here’s the bottom line: Perhaps you know it’s in the best interest of your baby to stop using prescription pain medication or heroin, but you can’t quite stop. 

Here’s the scoop: Pain medication prescribed by a healthcare provider for short-term pain relief is generally safe. Opioid dependence and addiction are potential side effects, however.

When the medications are misused, the risk greatly increases. Misuse means you are taking more than your provider’s prescribed, you are using the medication to get high, or you are using someone else’s opioids.

What you should do when you’re overusing opioids?

If you have opioid use disorder and you may be pregnant, do not suddenly stop taking opioids. Contact your health care provider for help.

The most trusted and proven recovery program for opioid use disorder is medication-assisted treatment, which includes both counseling and stabilization medication:

  • Medication can reduce your cravings and withdrawal symptoms. For pregnant women, health care providers use either methadone or buprenorphine.
  • Counseling can help you:
  1. Reform your attitudes and actions toward drug use,
  2. Regain positive life skills, and
  3. Reinforce taking your medicine and getting prenatal care.

Turn to us. We’re standing by to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week: 1-877-284-7074 or newseason@cmglp.com.

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