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Pregnancy and Opioid Use Disorder

Opioid use during pregnancy carries high risks for the unborn child, including preterm birth, stillbirth, and neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS).

NAS for a newborn is an excruciating process of withdrawal from opioids the child has been exposed to in the womb.

Given these facts, treating women with opioid abuse disorder as early as possible during pregnancy is critical.

The challenge – choosing the safest therapies to achieve abstinence.

A recent study at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School published in the New England Journal of Medicine[i] suggests that medicated-assisted treatment with buprenorphine is preferable to treatment with methadone for the unborn child. These findings are consistent with earlier studies.

In the Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School study, buprenorphine use appeared to lower the risk for preterm birth, low birth weight, small size at each stage of the pregnancy, and NAS when compared to methadone.

Of note, the study found “the risk of adverse maternal outcomes was similar among persons who received buprenorphine and those who received methadone.”

If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol and need help in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Virginia, Florida, Ohio, or Indiana, the recovery teams at Aware Recovery Care are here to help. And we come to you, regardless of where you live. Our unique in-home treatment model of care gives clients a significantly better chance of recovery when compared to traditional inpatient rehab care. Please get in touch with one of our Recovery Specialists to learn more.


[i] https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/...

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