What to Know About Opioid Habit and Being pregnant

Any opioids — even authorized ones you get out of your physician — might be dangerous to you and your baby throughout pregnancy. Opioids embrace prescription painkillers, like codeine, hydrocodone (Lorcet, Vicodin), oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet), and the unlawful drug heroin. These drugs launch chemical substances in your brain that make you’re feeling good. After you employ them for some time, your physique can change into depending on them. Then you might not be capable of cease taking them. That’s referred to as opioid use dysfunction. Your unborn baby can change into dependent, too.

Lots of stigma surrounds opioid use. It may be laborious to speak about, even along with your physician. However in case you are pregnant, getting remedy for opioid dependence as quickly as attainable provides you with a greater likelihood of getting a wholesome being pregnant and a wholesome child.

Dangers to You and Your Unborn Child

Once you take opioids, they cross via the placenta and attain your rising baby. These medication can sluggish your child’s development and trigger issues like:


Opioid use throughout being pregnant could cause issues for you, too. You possibly can develop preeclampsia. That’s high blood pressure mixed with indicators of organ harm, often within the liver or kidneys. This will result in critical sickness, even dying, for you and your child.

Your child could proceed to battle after delivery. Neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) occurs when infants change into depending on opioids within the womb. As soon as they’re born, these infants have withdrawal signs resembling:

Opioids not directly have an effect on your child, too. Once you take these medication, you won’t eat properly or get the prenatal care it is advisable to assist your child develop.

Some individuals who take opioids do unsafe issues like having unprotected sex, which will increase their danger for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Opioids additionally enhance your danger for infections like HIV and hepatitis, which you’ll cross to your child.

Speaking to Your Physician

In the event you’ve been taking opioids to manage pain, ask whether or not you’ll be able to change to a pain reliever that is safer throughout being pregnant. Your physician will stability the necessity to deal with your ache with the dangers of taking these medication. In the event you do take opioids, use the smallest dose attainable for the shortest period of time to handle your ache.


When you have opioid use dysfunction, see an OB/GYN and first care physician who’ve expertise treating addiction. Or have an dependancy specialist work along with your different medical doctors to create a remedy plan for you.

Speaking to your physician about substance use might be scary. You would possibly fear that you will get arrested or that your child will probably be taken away. Some states do think about substance abuse in being pregnant against the law, however they could go simpler on pregnant ladies who get assist. Share your considerations with a physician you belief.

Which Opioid Habit Remedies Are Protected Throughout Being pregnant?

Even in case you’re able to cease taking opioids, it isn’t protected to go off them all of a sudden throughout being pregnant. Quitting chilly turkey may very well be very harmful on your child.

Opioid alternative remedy is a safer method to scale back your dependence on opioids. You’re taking a distinct sort of opioid to forestall withdrawal signs in each you and your child. As a result of these medication keep in your physique for a very long time, they safely scale back your want for opioids.


Opioid alternative remedy will decrease your child’s danger for neonatal abstinence syndrome and hold you and your child more healthy throughout your being pregnant. It is a greater possibility than a medically supervised withdrawal, or detox, program. After a detox program, you are extra more likely to have a relapse. Meaning you begin utilizing once more.

Your physician may additionally prescribe naloxone (Narcan). This drugs reverses the consequences of opioids in your physique. In the event you overdose, Narcan may save your life and your child’s life.

Therapy is one other a part of the remedy for opioid dependancy. A drug counselor or therapist will provide help to discover more healthy methods to deal with challenges than by utilizing medication. Therapy additionally teaches you how you can keep away from conditions that make you extra more likely to take opioids once more.

Particular Care Throughout Being pregnant

Due to the consequences opioid use can have in your physique, your OB/GYN would possibly suggest additional testing and particular care throughout your being pregnant, together with:

In the event you or a cherished one wants assist for opioid use dysfunction, discuss to your physician or name the Substance Abuse and Psychological Well being Providers Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) Nationwide Helpline at 800-662-HELP.

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