We all know that using drugs or alcohol can cause damage to the body, but what about when you are pregnant? Women who use and abuse drugs or alcohol while pregnant can not only harm the baby but can also cause harm to themselves. If someone has been using drugs or alcohol and is carrying a baby, drug detox is the only option for potentially recovering from the drug abuse or addiction while keeping the baby safe. But is drug detox safe during pregnancy? Let us find out.
It has been estimated that nearly 5.5 percent of pregnant women between the ages 15 and 44 are drug users. That is an alarming number of women potentially causing harm to their child and themselves. There are many health risks to using drugs or alcohol while carrying a baby, but what is the safest option for women who wish to stop using drugs? Here we will discuss:
- What is drug detox?
- Is drug detox safe while pregnant?
- Potential complications of withdrawal during pregnancy
- Toxic drugs that affect pregnancy
- Treatment options
What is Drug Detoxing?
Drug detox is the natural process of ridding all substances from the body, typically after a period of drug abuse or drug addiction. The detox phase can cause withdrawal symptoms to occur, and a detox program can help assist with easing pain and discomfort. One of the main concerns with drug detox is the intense drug cravings. A detox program can assure you do not relapse and use drugs again. Drug detox is usually followed by an intensive treatment program to focus on recovering from the addiction.
While detoxing is a phase that cannot be skipped with drug abuse and addiction recovery, it can be dangerous while pregnant.
Potential Complications of Withdrawal During Pregnancy:
Drug withdrawal symptoms can be uncomfortable, painful, and even dangerous. Symptoms may include:
- Flu-like symptoms (headache, nausea, shakiness, etc.)
- Excessive sweating
- Increased anxiety or depression
- Mood swings
- Drug cravings
When a woman is experiencing a drug detox, medical supervision is needed to ensure both her and the baby remain safe. While the withdrawal symptoms may vary from woman to woman, the more drug-dependent the person is, the more harmful and riskier the withdrawal experience may be for the fetus.
If you are pregnant and wish to stop the use of drugs, contact a medical provider or a treatment center before attempting to quit on your own. Quitting drugs cold turkey can harm the body and the fetus and may require medical supervision. While it can be a dangerous and frightening experience, both personal and medical support can help you throughout the detox process.
List of Toxic Drugs Affecting Pregnancy
Drugs alter the chemicals in the brain and many can become highly addictive. While some drugs may be more harmful than others, in order to keep the baby safe and healthy, a mother should not use any drugs while pregnant. List of toxic drugs affecting pregnancy include but is not limited to:
- Opioids (Heroin, Fentanyl, Oxycodone, etc.)
- Benzodiazepines (Xanax, Valium, etc.)
- Hallucinogens (LCD, PCP, etc.)
These are only some of the drugs that can cause harm to a fetus. While it was not mentioned in the above list, one of the most common and harmful substances is alcohol. Alcohol should never be consumed while pregnant as it can cause life-long damage to the unborn baby.
Safety Provided by Medical Oversight During Detox
Medical oversight during drug detox for a pregnant woman is always advised. There may be unexpected symptoms that occur after stopping the use of drugs due to the discovery of a pregnancy. A medical detox program can provide support for any complications or health risks. Symptoms such as seizures and severe dehydration must be closely monitored by a medical provider.
It can feel both tempting to want to stop the use of drugs after learning you are pregnant, and difficult to do so on your own. The best advice is to seek help from a detox program to ensure safety for both you and your baby.
Drug detoxing during pregnancy can come with several risks and can potentially harm both the mother and the baby. Therefore, medical supervision and support through a detox program is highly advised when wishing to stop using drugs. Golden Road Recovery has an excellent detox program that will provide you with a safe and comfortable environment while surrounded by supportive and qualified mental health and medical professionals.