In light of the opioid epidemic and increasing rates of addiction in the United States, the medical field has reported an influx of neonatal abstinence syndrome and fetal alcohol syndrome. One of the scariest things about addiction is that it can happen to anyone, and its power overshadows everything worthwhile in life, even a developing baby. For this reason, it’s important for women who suffer from addiction to have access to high-quality, comprehensive addiction treatment programs that can address pregnant mothers unique recovery needs, making it possible to achieve lasting sobriety, stability, and health. You Are Not Alone Pregnancy is often considered a period of joy and preparation. In most situations, an expecting mother becomes acutely aware of her body and often strives to learn more about her growing infant’s needs. Of course, the reality of being in active addiction while pregnant puts a lot of that care and appreciation at a standstill. While many pregnant women in addiction want to be present and healthy for their child, the insanity of their cravings makes it impossible to stay on the right track. This presents a real threat to both the expecting mother and the unborn fetus, that often results in malnutrition, stunted development, physical deformities, and learning disabilities. Pregnancy complications can occur from alcohol, nicotine, cocaine, amphetamines, opioids, and benzodiazepines. According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, 50% of pregnancies in the US are unplanned, for women with substance use disorders, that rate is closer to 80%. Every 25 minutes, a baby is born with an opioid dependence in the United States (National Institute of Health). Pregnant teens (age 15-17) are more likely to abuse drugs while pregnant (14.6% vs 3.2%). According to the National Institute of Health, an estimated 21,732 babies were born with neonatal abstinence syndrome in 2012. The Importance of Receiving Treatment for Addiction While Pregnant For pregnant women suffering from addiction, it is crucial to recovering from using substances while carrying a child. Wayside house offers one of the most comprehensive and effective addiction treatment programs for expecting mothers. There are numerous considerations to make when a woman suffers from addiction while pregnant. Untreated, the addiction can lead to: lowered adherence to prenatal care Poor maternal nutrition Increased chances of co-occurring disorders Increased chances of postpartum depression Higher levels of trauma, STD’s, and abusive home situations. Of course, studies have shown that the consequences of substance abuse during pregnancy can be dire, but there are also some misunderstandings regarding prenatal addiction. In particular, the human fetus is far more resilient and adaptable than you might imagine; although substance abuse is surely a risk to a fetus, it’s never too late for an expecting mother to get sober. In fact, a fetus that may have been put at risk due to a woman’s substance abuse can quickly “catch up” once she becomes sober and resumes a healthier lifestyle. If you’re an expecting mother who suffers from chemical dependency, there are a number of reasons why Wayside House should be your first choice for recovery. Perhaps most importantly, they have designed their program for expectant mothers around the needs of both the mother and the fetus. As such, many of the touchstones of their program involve establishing and maintaining a well-rounded diet and self-care routine, as well as learning tools to maintain recovery and function through the day to day life. This whole life approach is vital to fostering and maintaining confidence, self-assurance, and joy in a pregnant mothers recovery. The ultimate goal of their program is to not only help a patient get sober but to help her unborn child thrive during gestation in preparation for a successful birth and health. Why Specialized Treatment is Vital According to a survey conducted in 2010, only nineteen states offered addiction treatment programs tailored to the unique needs of pregnant women. Wayside House is a premier treatment facility for women only. Since addiction affects each individual in unique ways, those who seek recovery require treatment that can adapt to unique circumstances, situations, and backgrounds, and there is no group of people more specialized than women who suffer from addiction while pregnant. Addiction has historically been difficult to treat effectively because there’s so much variation in how people become addicted and are affected by addiction. In response to the variation inherent in addiction and recovery, there is a multitude of ways to overcome an addiction with individualized therapy, group therapy, holistic options, and twelve-step fellowships. According to the latest evidence, individuals who experience the greatest success in recovery are those who receive treatment that can be tailored to their specific needs and preferences, and this individualization starts with a facility that offers adaptable, high-quality programming. What To Expect From Wayside At Wayside House, several different types of addiction treatment programs are offered to mothers during pregnancy, each of which has been designed to address substance abuse disorder in a unique way. For example, their dual-diagnosis program was created as a way to combine the treatment of substance abuse with the treatment of other co-occurring disorders that are oftentimes related to addiction during pregnancy, such as: Bipolar disorder Post-traumatic stress disorder Depression Disordered Eating Sexually transmitted infections Hepatitis Additionally, Wayside House offers intensive and individualized treatment services for women of all ages and backgrounds. One of the features that really sets Wayside House apart from other treatment providers is their commitment to utilizing the most advanced, evidence-proven rehabilitation methods and cutting-edge treatment techniques. As a baseline, virtually all of the programming has a foundation of intensive psychotherapy and individual counseling through which patients can uncover the root causes of their substance abuse problems and ensure that these circumstances don’t lead to relapses in the future. Beyond counseling and psychotherapy, patients participate in a variety of psychoeducational and process group therapies, which are forms of addiction treatment that are often used to instill essential skills that help patients maintain long-term sobriety and create a sense of community and belonging. Additionally, there are a variety of holistic and supplemental therapies available to pregnant mothers such as yoga, horticulture therapy, acupuncture, art therapy, parenting skills therapy, and life skills therapy. Why Getting Sober Isn’t The End It is extremely common for everyone who suffers from an addiction to be unable to imagine a life free from substances. For so long, those in addiction have been driven by a base desire to get more, to feel less, and to isolate. It is really normal to see sobriety as a death sentence, an end to freedom, and as the beginning of a boring existence. However, its it’s actually quite the opposite. Although it may be hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel, a life of addiction is actually the one that is a death sentence. Sobriety is a life lived with value, with purpose, with new discoveries, and with self-assurance. It is also not impossible to achieve. Through supportive treatment environments, intensive therapy, and strong aftercare programs, millions of people have gotten their lives back after addiction. Medicated Assistance Willpower and dedication to sobriety are key to overcoming addiction, but in many cases, medicated assistance and professional help can be a huge supporting factor. If you or a loved one is struggling to overcome addiction, our medically trained staff can help you through all stages of the process including detox, rehabilitation, and continuing education. Facing your addiction can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right knowledge, tools, and dedication to your life, sobriety is within reach. Call Wayside today to find out more about our programs, medicated assistance, and discuss an individualized plan for you or your loved one.