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Oxycontin Addiction during Pregnancy

While OxyContin addiction is an unfavorable situation at any point in a person’s life, it is most threatening during pregnancy, and even during the postpartum period. While the effects of withdrawal can be traumatizing for the pregnant woman, the symptoms are even worse for a newborn infant.

When dealing with a serious addiction, it is never recommended to suddenly cut off use entirely, as withdrawal symptoms and craving for the substance can be incredibly strong. Methadone treatment is typically given to patients in order to combat the serious physical side effects of withdrawal. However, this treatment has been controversial in use with pregnant women, whose newborn babies also require the substance to avoid life-threatening withdrawal symptoms.

Infants that have been exposed to OxyContin addiction often suffer from excessive crying, stiff limbs, tremors and diarrhea, making the first days of life an excruciatingly painful experience. While treatment with small amounts of methadone is customary, it also requires that the infant be weaned from this substance as well, leading to many weeks spent in the hospital in addition to what is normally required for newborns.

Prenatal care is also an issue for mothers-to-be who suffer from OxyContin addiction. Many doctors are hesitant to treat pregnant women with this addiction, as the long-term effects of their abuse are still mostly unknown. The proper way to treat pregnant women with this affliction is also controversial, questioning the benefits and risks of treating the addiction and withdrawal or focusing more on the baby’s reaction to a sudden loss of the opiate. Opinions on this matter are extremely varied, even more so because of many pharmacists’ unwillingness to fill opiate prescriptions for pregnant women, regardless of the circumstance.

Unfortunately, room for research on this is limited, as many mothers with OxyContin addiction are also abusing other substances, such as alcohol, nicotine, other narcotics or street drugs. It is difficult to effectively research this topic enough to provide a solid method of treatment that is best for mother and baby. Contact Vista Taos Addiction Center, located 85 miles north of Santa Fe, New Mexico to discuss ways to treat your addiction prior to becoming pregnant.

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COVID-19 update: The health and safety of our clients at Vista Taos is our top priority. Each person admitted to our program will be given a PCR Covid screen upon entry and subsequently will follow our isolation protocol as we await the results.
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