Pregnancy and Addiction Treatment
Risks of Drugs or Alcohol for Pregnant Women
Addiction during pregnancy happens as a result of many factors including stress, life problems, and life style. Addiction treatment for pregnant women is available and can be lifesaving. Most women who suffer from drug or alcohol addiction are likely to allow have underlying issues of low self-confidence or feelings of guilt and shame. Substance use can have a negative impact on the health of the mother as well as the unborn child. A mother who is drinking high amounts of alcohol or taking narcotic drugs while pregnant may suffer from various health issues including, reduced weight, early labor, sexually transmitted disease, anxiety, and depression or high blood pressure. The baby might experience other adverse health effects as a result of the drug consumptions of the mother including HIV, birth defects, low birth weight, learning disorders, stunted growth or even sudden death. With proper medical supervision most if not all of these issues can be avoided if implemented early enough in the pregnancy.
Barriers to Addiction Treatment
Pregnant women face additional barriers to addiction treatment than the average user. Many of these women need long-term intensive addiction treatment programs, but few treatment providers provide the necessary programs and aftercare. Unfortunately, most traditional residential programs are unable or unwell to have the liability of treating pregnant women. Other barriers from entering treatment for their drug and alcohol problem for women, especially pregnant women are increased fear they will lose custody of their children, lack of access to gender-specific treatment, lack of insurance coverage for aftercare, and lack of childcare. Finding an addiction treatment program that provides sound clinical care is essential for the best possible chance of success at recovery.
Help for Pregnant Women in Addiction Treatment
Women who are pregnant should be educated and treated. Often women in general, especially pregnant women are often an underserved population in regards to addiction treatment. At Lighthouse Recovery Institute we offer a program specific to women that also treat pregnant women. We offer trauma counseling to deal with the guilt and shame associated with being addicted to drugs and alcohol while pregnant. Additionally, we offer a life skills component to help assist the mother with the necessary life skills that are needed for life after addicted treatment when the baby is born to empower and teach the women to be responsible parents. Furthermore, we offer parenting skills and communication courses. This allows for assistance on various parenting skills that if left unaddressed, might cause the mother to feel less confidence as she begins her new role as a parent.
For women seeking help, there is often the underlying fear of judgment from others in regards to suffering from drug or alcohol addiction. Having a therapeutic environment which is built on understanding of these issues can lead to the best possible chance of success. In a traditional program that does not offer specific services for pregnant women, often these parental skills and concerns are not addressed thus not providing comprehensive addiction treatment.