How Do Methadone Clinics Work for Pregnant Women?

Methadone maintenance treatment provides a safer option for pregnant individuals who are still physically dependent on opioids. While it is well known that methadone is a particularly beneficial option for the safety and health of both the mother and the child, many do not quite understand how exactly methadone clinics are able to treat pregnant women.

Methadone Maintenance Treatment During Pregnancy

According to a study from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, “Pregnant women who abuse substances, including alcohol and nicotine, have a greater-than-normal risk of medical complications,” and those who are addicted to opioids also experience a number of risks, especially if they continue to abuse illicit or prescription opioids into their pregnancy. However, if a pregnant individual were to attempt to stop abusing opioids with no medical treatment (instead choosing to end their abuse cold turkey), it could put both the individual and the unborn child at risk, increasing the possibility of dangerous withdrawal symptoms, relapse, eventual overdose, and other issues.

Instead, a much safer solution is methadone maintenance. The patient is able to discuss their situation with a doctor, including their pregnancy, and a dosage amount is chosen that is safe for both the patient and the fetus. This reduces withdrawal symptoms, which can be extremely difficult on someone’s body even if they are not pregnant, and makes it easier for the individual to live their life while also taking care of themselves and their child. Methadone is safe to take during pregnancy, but your doctor will determine the right dosage so as to create the best outcome.

Additional Help During Pregnancy


Methadone is safe to use during pregnancy.

In addition, many methadone clinics also provide other types of treatments and help to their pregnant patients. Specific programs exist for patients who are both pregnant and HIV positive, helping them stay healthy and avoid any further complications. In addition, “the consensus panel recommends that women who are opioid addicted and HIV infected receive additional counseling and support during the postpartum period to improve their adherence to antiretroviral therapy and to meet the demands of caring for a newborn,” something many methadone treatment programs offer.

Patients are also monitored for any of the common obstetrical complications that are often seen in pregnant opioid addicts during treatment, including preeclampsia, abruption placentae, and others. Children born to these patients also have a potential of experiencing “life-threatening withdrawal symptoms after birth,” which doctors at methadone clinics are trained to inform the patient of and to watch out for (National Library of Medicine).

A Better, Safer Option

Methadone clinics work for pregnant women by providing their patients with a better, safer option when it comes to their health and the health of their child. The pregnancy outcomes for patients in methadone treatment are also better for those who do not attend the program, making it a viable option for many individuals.

Are You Pregnant and in Need of Methadone Treatment?

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