Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Pregnant and Addicted: The Tough Road to Family Health


NPR (March 28, 2016): Pregnant and Addicted: The Tough Road to Family Health, by Sarah Jane Tribble:

The number of people dependent on opioids is increasing, including women of child-bearing age.  However, it is difficult for pregnant women with substance abuse problems to get help.   "Nobody wants to touch a pregnant woman with an addiction issue."  

According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, women who are pregnant should have medically assisted therapy that at least temporarily replaces the opioids they are using with drugs that are more stable, like methadone. Withdrawal should be discouraged during pregnancy if medically assisted therapy is available.

Quitting opioids cold turkey is dangerous for the infant and could increase the risk of preterm labor or fetal death.

NPR profiles a pregnant woman who was turned away from two hospitals and several clinics before receiving opioid replacement therapy. 



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