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Side Effects Of Heroin Addiction During Pregnancy

Side Effects Of Heroin Addiction During Pregnancy

If you or a loved one are pregnant and are still abusing heroin you need to stop now as the side effects are very consequential to your baby.

When we get in an accident or have surgery, the doctor usually prescribes us painkillers or opiods to take home. The prescription has a specific direction and dosage that is meant to be followed. Opioids have been very successful in treating pain and allowing people to function normally in their everyday lives. But, unfortunately, there has also been prescription opioid abuse and overdoses that are plaguing our country. 

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH): 

Prescription opioid pain medicines such as OxyContin® and Vicodin® have effects similar to heroin. Research suggests that misuse of these drugs may open the door to heroin use. Data from 2011 showed that an estimated 4 to 6 percent who misuse prescription opioids switch to heroin, and about 80 percent of people who used heroin first misused prescription opioids. More recent data suggest that heroin is frequently the first opioid people use. In a study of those entering treatment for opioid use disorder, approximately one-third reported heroin as the first opioid they regularly used to get high.

Side Effects Of Heroin Addiction During Pregnancy

What Is And How Does Heroin Work?

Heroin is an opioid drug made from morphine, a natural substance taken from the seed pod of different opium poppy plants grown in Southeast and Southwest Asia, Mexico, and Colombia. Heroin can be a white or brown powder or a black sticky substance known as black tar heroin—the dark color associated with black tar heroin results from its making, leaving behind impurities. Impure heroin is usually dissolved, diluted, and injected into veins, muscles, or under the skin.

When Pregnant Women Use Heroin

When a woman is pregnant, every choice she makes can affect the baby inside her; from emotional stress to the food she eats and especially any medication or illicit drugs she takes. So many of her choices can have an impact on the developing baby. When Heroin is used, by whatever administration, it is known to go through the placenta. 

The placenta is an organ that develops in your uterus during pregnancy. This structure provides oxygen and nutrients to your growing baby, which means that taking Heroin can directly affect the fetus. If a pregnant woman takes this drug, the fetus is at risk for conditions like withdrawal and congenital disabilities.

Can Addiction to Heroin Affect a Pregnancy?

Abusing Heroin can affect a women’s pregnancy. It can lead to dependence, addiction, maternal and neonatal withdrawal, and congenital disabilities when taken while pregnant. Heroin can lead to congenital disabilities and withdrawal in babies. According to National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), Heroin use during pregnancy can result in neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). NAS occurs when heroin passes through the placenta to the fetus during pregnancy, causing the baby to become dependent, along with the mother. 

Symptoms include excessive crying, fever, irritability, seizures, slow weight gain, tremors, diarrhea, vomiting, and possibly death. NAS requires hospitalization and treatment with medication (often morphine) to relieve symptoms; the medication is gradually tapered off until the baby adjusts to opioid-free. 

Methadone maintenance combined with prenatal care and a comprehensive drug treatment program can improve many outcomes associated with untreated heroin use for both the infant and mother. However, infants exposed to methadone during pregnancy typically require treatment for NAS as well.

Find Help Today, Not Just For You But For Your Baby

Whether you recently started using heroin or have been using it for years, Evoke Waltham can help you put an end to it and have a future for you and your baby. Fortunately, there’s more hope now than ever. This hope comes from advanced techniques in heroin detox and changing perceptions. Evoke Waltham is a part of this “addiction revolution.” Our physicians and nurses help patients stop using heroin by administering prescription drugs to manage withdrawal symptoms.

Remember that no one has to stay addicted. We’re available around the clock to consult with you. We’ll explain to you exactly how our inpatient detox works. More importantly, we’ll listen to your concerns and answer your questions. You’ll feel better just by calling a professional who truly cares. Finally, you’ll hang up the phone and go back to your life feeling hopeful, certain that Evoke Waltham will get your life back on track along with a healthy baby.