Addiction Helpline and Resource Center

Prescription Drug Addiction and Pregnancy

Prescription Drug Addiction and PregnancyPrescription drug addiction is dangerous, and expectant mothers run the very real risk of injury to themselves and to their unborn baby if they abuse drugs or alcohol. Many prescription medications including painkillers and psychotropic drugs can create multiple risks for developing babies. Potential results of combing prescription drug addiction and pregnancy include the following:

  • Miscarriage
  • Premature birth
  • Severe birth defects
  • Fetal addiction syndrome
  • Mental or physical development challenges later in life

Your baby is counting on you to do the right thing, but getting clean from prescription drugs can be incredibly difficult an even impossible without help.

The Nature of Prescription Drug Addiction

Prescription drug addiction can take many forms. In some cases a person takes a drug that was prescribed for him or her but takes it for longer than prescribed or in higher doses. Painkillersoften give users a powerful high when first taken, but over time the high fades as the user’s system builds a tolerance to the drug. Larger or more frequent doses will be needed, but in time even increased drug use will not generate the desired effect. Eventually the user will need to take a constant supply of the drug just to feel normal.

Physical Prescription Drug Addiction and Pregnancy

Many prescription drugs replace naturally occurring “feel good” chemicals in the brain and suppress the body’s production of them. This means that if the supply of drugs is cut off the user is likely to experience potentially serious withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms can be life-threatening, if they are not monitored by addiction recovery professionals. This medical supervision is especially important for recovering mothers, as medical professionals can ensure the health of unborn babies during the detox process.

Psychological Prescription Drug Addiction and Pregnancy

Prescription drugs create strong psychological or emotional addictions. The brain of the prescription drug user will use any mental tricks at its disposal to keep the supply of the drug coming. These psychological tools that help sustain addiction include the following:

  • Obsession
  • Denial
  • Justification
  • Anxiety

These tools of addiction are as present in pregnant women as in other users and must be overcome to ensure the health and happiness of the child. While the physical symptoms of addiction can be overcome with detox and a short amount of time, the psychological aspects of the disease last for months or years. It can be difficult or even impossible for a person to recover from this aspect of the addiction disease without real, professional help.

How Prescription Drugs Affect Developing Babies

Anything a mother takes into her system goes straight into an unborn baby’s system too. When babies’ body and brain are being formed, they are extremely fragile. Even the type of nutrition the mother takes in will affect her baby’s health. Prescription medications can slow or stop development in the womb, and prescription drug abuse also leads to reckless behavior that could cause injury or death to the mother or unborn child.

Find Addiction Help for Mothers

If you are pregnant and are struggling to get clean from prescription drugs, we can help. The time to change is now, both for your sake and for your future son or daughter. Call our toll-free helpline any time of day or night, and speak with one of our specially trained addiction experts. The call is free and confidential. We are here for you and for your baby. Call now, and let us help you get clean once and for all.

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