I’m Pregnant and Addicted – What are my Options?
An unplanned pregnancy is always scary. But if you were already battling addiction or substance abuse of alcohol or drugs, the stakes and consequences become even more serious. At this point in your pregnancy, you’re probably thinking:
“I’m pregnant and addicted to substances I know will harm my baby. What can I do?”
First of all, know that you’re not alone. You’re not the first person who has found themselves struggling with addiction while pregnant, and you won’t be the last. Second, please remember that mothers addicted to drugs while pregnant have nothing to be ashamed of. You’re here, you’re trying to get help, and you’re doing all of this because you want the best for yourself and for your baby.
Nothing about this situation is easy, but if you’re unexpectedly pregnant and addicted to drugs or alcohol, there is help for you.
Where Can Pregnant Women Go for Drug Addiction Help?
First things first: You need to contact somehow who can help you safely combat your addiction throughout the course of your pregnancy and beyond. If you’re suffering from drug addiction and pregnant, reach out to these professionals to learn more about how they can help:
- SAMHSA’s National Helpline
- Search rehab centers for pregnant women by state
- Adoption agencies who can help drug addicted pregnant women place their baby for adoption
- List of national resources, help lines and addiction centers by state
It’s overwhelming enough to find yourself unexpectedly pregnant, and drug addiction only complicates things for you. But remember that free assistance is available and encouraged, so you can do what’s healthiest for yourself and your baby.
Reasons Why Pregnant Mothers Addicted to Drugs Should Reach Out for Help Today
Struggling with a drug addiction while pregnant is often a “wake up call” for people. If you haven’t previously considered getting help for the sake of your own health, now you might be thinking about contacting a professional for the sake of your baby’s health.
First of all: Don’t be too hard on yourself for not seeking out help before becoming pregnant. What matters is that you’re trying to find help now. That’s a big step that requires a lot of bravery and should be applauded.
You probably already have plenty of reasons to find help if you’re addicted to drugs and pregnant, but here are some additional reasons to consider:
- If you’re a pregnant recovering drug addict who worked hard to get sober, and you’re worried about relapsing due to the stress of pregnancy, you’ll want to take immediate steps to maintain everything you’ve worked so hard to achieve.
- Assistance for pregnant addicts is often free. There are plenty of professionals who can provide help with addiction for pregnant women at no cost, including medical and adoption professionals.
- Pregnancy is hard enough on a woman’s body without the added complications of substance abuse. The physical toll of struggling with addiction when pregnant can cause lasting physical damage to women and children.
- Children who are born to pregnant mothers with addictions often later struggle with addiction themselves, or are even born already addicted to the substance that their mother used while she was pregnant.
- Children born to pregnant drug addicted mothers have a much higher likelihood of serious physical, mental and emotional problems due to exposure to substance abuse during pregnancy.
- Pregnant women with addiction issues often struggle to provide appropriate care for their children due to the physical, mental, emotional and financial problems that their addiction creates.
- Child Protective Services will often get involved if you’re not taking steps to combat your addiction while pregnant, which can result in your older children or your newborn being taken into state custody (foster care) temporarily or even permanently.
- If CPS does assume custody of your children, you forfeit the choice of voluntarily placing your baby into an adoptive family of your choice and of the possibility of maintaining contact with your child throughout the years.
Hearing about the physical, emotional and legal consequences of drug addiction among pregnant women is all a little scary. And being pregnant with an addiction is probably already frightening enough for you. But it’s important that you understand the potential consequences for pregnant mothers with drug addiction issues, so that you can take action now to prevent further harm to yourself and your baby.
Choosing Adoption When Struggling with Addiction
Worried that your addiction and substance abuse will affect your ability to place your baby for adoption? Don’t be. You can always choose adoption for your baby if you feel that’s what’s best for you and your child.
You will never “get in trouble” for being pregnant and addicted when you contact an adoption agency, nor will you have to worry about families not wanting to adopt your child. What’s more, adoption is always free, and your adoption professional can connect you to someone who will be able to help you overcome your addiction.
Many pregnant women who are addicted and have abused harmful substances during their pregnancy choose to place their unborn baby for adoption with a family of their choice. They often do so because:
- They worry that the stress of raising a child at this point could compromise their sobriety, which would hurt them and their child.
- They know that they’re not in a physically, mentally, emotionally or financially stable enough situation to parent this baby.
- They need to focus on getting sober before they can think about parenting.
- They know their addiction issues would negatively (and permanently) impact their baby’s physical, mental and emotional well-being.
- They understand that there are adoptive parents who are ready and willing to raise a child who is born with physical, mental or emotional problems as a result of in-utero substance abuse.
- They want the best for themselves and for their baby, and they feel that adoption is the best way to achieve both.
Again: There are waiting adoptive families who are ready, willing and able to raise a child who may have difficulties as a result of exposure to harmful substances during your pregnancy. Reach out to an adoption professional now to connect with these loving and prepared families, and to learn more about how adoption may be the best path for you and your child.
How to Get a Pregnant Drug Addict Help
If you’re researching how to help pregnant drug addicts on behalf of a loved one who is a pregnant drug addict, you’re in a tough spot. You want the best for your loved one and you want the best for her child, but getting help for pregnant addicts can be hard for both of you.
Letting a professional help addicted pregnant women battle their illness rather than trying to get them through it yourself is the best course of action. Providing them with information and resources that can connect them to the appropriate professionals is one of the most beneficial things you can do, whether that’s encouraging them to contact a medical professional, a rehabilitation center, an adoption professional or all three. Check the resource list above for guidance on finding these professionals.
Supporting pregnant women addicted to drugs or alcohol is tough, but being a source of unconditional love, encouragement and support is an important way to help them through their lifelong recovery.
Drug Addicted Pregnant Mothers Must Reach Out Now
If you’re battling addiction while pregnant, please reach out to an addiction professional now. If you’re considering placing your baby for adoption because you’re not healthy enough to raise a child while addicted, an adoption professional can connect you to help or options for pregnant women addicted to drugs or alcohol. It’s important to care for your own health in addition to doing what you feel is best for your unborn child.
If you’re addicted and pregnant, free help is always available to you.