Heroin is an incredibly addictive opioid that can wreak havoc on a person’s health and life. Abusing heroin while pregnant can be especially harmful to a woman’s health as well as the health of her unborn child. Unfortunately for a person who is addicted to heroin, the addiction does not go away when she becomes pregnant. If you are addicted to heroin and are pregnant, seeking treatment is the best decision you can make for both yourself and your unborn child.

Vertava Health Ohio is a state-of-the-art rehab center located in Sherrodsville, Ohio, that offers customized programs of recovery for women looking to overcome heroin addiction. Our treatment plans can help you reclaim your life in sobriety and be as healthy as possible for when your child is born.

Effects Of Heroin Use During Pregnancy

Using heroin while pregnant can put a woman at risk for a number of side effects both directly and indirectly caused by drug use. Heroin abuse can even lead to unwanted pregnancy, as people who use this drug are more likely to participate in risky behaviors like unprotected sex. A woman who abuses heroin and becomes pregnant may be more likely to neglect her own health and the health of the unborn child due to clouded decision-making skills.

Additionally, a woman who abuses or is addicted to heroin and becomes pregnant is less likely to get regular prenatal care. This can increase the chance of problems during pregnancy and put the unborn child’s health at risk.

Other potential complications that can result from heroin use during pregnancy include:

  • preeclampsia
  • placental abruption or placental insufficiency
  • preterm labor
  • premature birth
  • premature rupture of membranes
  • malnutrition
  • miscarriage
  • fetal death

The more heroin a person uses during pregnancy, the more likely she is to experience these negative effects.

Dangers Of Using Heroin While Pregnant

In addition to the complications mentioned in the previous section, using heroin while pregnant can put the child at risk of being born with a dangerous condition known as neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). This condition is when the baby is born dependent on heroin or other opioids as a result of the drug passing through the placenta to the fetus during pregnancy.

Symptoms of NAS may include:

  • excessive crying
  • vomiting
  • seizures
  • diarrhea
  • slow weight gain
  • fever
  • irritability
  • tremors
  • trouble feeding
  • trouble breathing

If not treated properly or if severe enough, neonatal abstinence syndrome can even result in the death of the baby. Babies born with NAS will likely have to remain in the hospital for up to two weeks longer than other newborns until the child can function without opioids.

Heroin Withdrawal While Pregnant

Women who are pregnant and abusing or addicted to heroin should never stop using heroin suddenly. While this may seem like the best course of action, heroin withdrawal can cause serious complications and side effects for both mother and child.

Physical side effects of sudden heroin withdrawal may include flu-like symptoms, sweating, nausea, and muscle pain. Someone may also experience psychological symptoms such as depression and intense drug cravings. When pregnant, heroin withdrawal may also cause preterm labor or even miscarriage or stillbirth.

A pregnant woman who wants to stop using heroin should do so under medical supervision. She will likely need to slowly taper off of opioids to avoid harming the fetus and herself.

Heroin Abuse And Addiction Programs For Pregnant Women

If you are pregnant and struggling with an addiction to heroin, it’s important to know that you are not alone and that help is available. Whether you have tried to get sober before and relapsed or this is your first attempt at seeking help, Vertava Health Ohio can provide you with a customized program for recovery that is catered to your unique needs and condition. The sooner you seek treatment for heroin addiction, the more likely your baby will be born happy and healthy.

Learn more about the drug rehab program for pregnant women in Ohio at Vertava Health Ohio today.