Addiction does not discriminate and can happen to anyone. Pregnant women are no exception. Unfortunately, it can be extremely difficult for a pregnant woman to seek treatment due to fear and the stigma of drug use during pregnancy.
Instead of providing social support and treatment for addiction, many pregnant women who are battling a substance use disorder are arrested, prosecuted, and sent to jail. These women are punished for child neglect for using drugs while pregnant. Addiction is very complex and quitting alone is dangerous. The American Medical Association and other medical organizations have addressed the problem of drug use during pregnancy and agree, “Addiction is a disease best managed through education and evidence-based treatment — not through the criminal justice system.”
Punishing pregnant women for drug use actually discourages them from seeking health care and treatment, increasing maternal and fetal mortality rates. Addiction is almost always co-occurs with an underlying mental health issue. Internal and external struggles often stand in the way of recovery.
According to an article by Lynn M. Paltrow for National Advocates for Pregnant Women, a large number of pregnant women who use drugs were raped as children. “Drugs appear to be used as a means to numb the pain of a violent childhood and adult life. Like Vietnam veterans who self medicated with drugs for their post-traumatic stress disorders, at least some pregnant women also use drugs to numb the pain of violent and traumatic life experiences.
The stigma surrounding drug or alcohol addiction can unintentionally interfere with a person’s decision to seek treatment. This is especially true for a pregnant woman who also feels alone, scared, and guilty for using controlled substances. The stigma comes from people who don’t understand addiction.
Treatment for addiction is available and recovery is possible. If you or a loved one is struggling with a substance use disorder or addiction, get help right away. Do not wait to seek treatment and do not suffer alone. Make today your first step toward recovery and living substance-free.
Cypress Lakes Lodge specializes in addiction treatment and is located in a serene, remote, lush-green, oxygen enriched environment. The program encompasses holistic addiction therapy and offers yoga and meditation for the mind, body, and soul. The focus is on physical, mental, and emotional well-being by generating the balance of life-enriching treatment, wellness, and healthy, sober, sustainable relationships. Call us to get started: 409-331-2204