Buprenorphine and Pregnancy

MastHead Outline
February 2, 2016

The news is reported daily about prescription pain pill abuse reaching epidemic proportions in America. With regulations on physicians, pain pills have become much harder to access and some are even turning to heroin. Substance Abuse is now acknowledged as a medical disease and treatment advances allow for much better options for patients. Buprenorphine in its many forms, in conjunction with a Medication Assisted Treatment Program, is now being used by the Addiction Medicine community and is a safe, effective way to treat substance abuse of opioids and the Disease of Addiction. Of the 1.9 million Americans with an opioid substance use disorder, some of those are pregnant women. At AppleGate Recovery we are concerned with the well-being of the whole person, and that includes the unborn child. Imagine the fear and uncertainty a person might feel about the loss of control over their own life when they are in the grips of addiction, then magnify that when the person knows they are also carrying a child. In May of 2012, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists acknowledged concern about the management of pregnancy in the presence of addiction and they formally recognized the problems of using the “standard of care” medication, methadone, and agreed there are benefits in using buprenorphine during pregnancy. If you or someone you know is pregnant with an opioid addiction issue, buprenorphine can help.

Some simple recommendations for pregnant patients:

  • DO NOT try to detox yourself off opioids as withdrawals are harmful in pregnancy.
  • DO find a physician knowledgeable about treating the disease of addiction in pregnancy.
  • If you use tobacco products, STOP and seek tobacco cessation services if needed.

At Applegate Recovery we are trained to help all those with the Disease of Opioid Addiction in an environment of compassion and respect, including pregnant patients.