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Is it Safe to Go to Detox While Pregnant?

When beginning the battle against addiction, the initial steps are always the most daunting. You may have been living in your addiction for weeks, months, or years. Yet regardless of the time that has passed, addiction treats you the same. It can feel as though your life source has been replaced by a substance and everything around you has changed. If you or a loved one is pregnant and struggling with substance abuse, it is vital to know that services are readily available to take your life back through safe detox while pregnant. 

Contact The Detox Center of Los Angeles today at (888) 346-4350 to learn how to access our addiction treatment programs.

At The Detox Center of Los Angeles, we recognize that the start of any journey can be frightening. Though simply reading this article proves that you are hoping to take future actions. Seeking medical detox is a major milestone in every recovery journey—arguably one of the most important. At TDCLA, we will be with you at every step because we know that this first step for you will be as important as your future child’s first steps too. 

Can you Detox While Pregnant? 

For rapid relief—yes! The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates that about 5 percent of pregnant women use one or more addictive substances. If this is the case for you or a loved one, continued use of substances will not only harm yourself, it may lead to Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs) causing potential physical or developmental problems for the child. The NIDA also reports potential risks of stillbirth from substance abuse in pregnancy:

  • Tobacco use—1.8 to 2.8 times greater risk of stillbirth, with the highest risk found among the heaviest smokers
  • Marijuana use—2.3 times greater risk of stillbirth
  • Evidence of any stimulant, marijuana, or prescription pain reliever use—2.2 times greater risk of stillbirth
  • Passive exposure to tobacco—2.1 times greater risk of stillbirth

The most secure way to address addictive behaviors is through medical detox. It is not only safe while pregnant, it is essential. Detox removes the toxins from the body in a carefully monitored environment, followed by rehabilitation. At The Detox Center of Los Angeles, you will be met with trained, empathetic professionals who are prepared to care for you and the life inside you.   

Risks of Withdrawal While Pregnant 

The experience of withdrawal is one that finds its way into every recovery. Whether it is short-term or long, severe or mild, persons who are pregnant are not exempt. There are two main factors that will determine the severity of withdrawal risks—the substance or substances being used and how dependent the person is on them. 

The American Addictions Center has outlined the potential risk factors for various substances while pregnant and does not recommend stopping certain substances “cold turkey”. Due to the addictive and dependent nature of these drugs, an abrupt and immediate cut to their use will intensify the withdrawal symptoms. 

  • Cocaine and other stimulant drugs like methamphetamine, Adderall, and Ritalin (commonly used for ADHD) are more commonly known for emotional and psychological withdrawal symptoms. Due to their euphoric nature, stopping the use of these drugs may result in severe depression, intense cravings, and suicidal thoughts, which may be elevated during pregnancy.
  • Heroin and other opioids such as OxyContin, Vicodin, morphine, and fentanyl are often compared to a strong case of the flu. Along with common flu symptoms, patients may experience insomnia, tremors, increased heart rate, and blood pressure. Sudden withdrawal may also lead to respiratory depression in unborn babies. 
  • Benzodiazepines including Ativan, Klonopin, Valium, and Xanax are prescribed anti-anxiety and sedative drugs. These substances depress the central nervous system functions and can create a dependency within weeks. Regardless of their legitimate medical use, these drugs prove as dangerous as illegal substances. Withdrawal symptoms include depression, irritability, seizures, anxiety, insomnia, restlessness, and increased heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature which can be life-threatening to both the fetus and the mother.
  • Alcohol dependence is among the most common and life-threatening. Sudden stoppage of alcohol use, especially after a dependency has formed may cause seizures, confusion, hallucinations, and delirium—often referred to as delirium tremens or DTs. DTs can lead to death for both the mother and fetus. In its lessened form, withdrawal from alcohol abuse may have emotional effects similar to cocaine and physical effects similar to heroin including impaired memory, tachycardia, hypertension, and slowed cognitive functions. 

There are risks in stopping the use of any substance and it is highly recommended that you do so in the care of medical professionals. Simply put, medical drug detox in Los Angeles is the safest way to ensure proper attention and care for both mother and fetus.   

Medical Detox While Pregnant

Though it will not resolve substance abuse issues alone, medical detox is the first step in the continuum of care for people struggling with addiction. This is no different for persons who are pregnant. It is imperative that those who are admitted for medical detox understand that each step and service will be as important as the last. With The Detox Center of Los Angeles, you will receive around the clock care from a team of medical professionals. 

As you are monitored, the team will administer medications to provide comfort and use a tapering system to manage withdrawal symptoms. The details of your detox plan will be dependent on the substances used and how the body responds along the way. Detoxing is a high risk, high reward scenario. Doing so with medical professionals by your side is essential for the safety and success of yourself and the fetus. It is not recommended you attempt to detox at home, pregnant or otherwise. 

It is common that an individual will uncover deeper rooted issues during their detox, which may require psychiatric or therapeutic services. Stress, anxiety, and other mental health related issues can have negative impacts on the pregnancy. Having access to mental health services may help deviate these risks. 

Do All Rehabs Offer Detox for Pregnant Women? 

The American Addiction Center explains that not all facilities are equipped to offer medical detox for pregnant women. This means that it is crucial to find a facility that is well-versed in prenatal detox to ensure peace of mind during this time.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), detox specific to persons who are pregnant should include:

  • Pregnancy and parenting education
  • Staff with medical, mental health, and addiction treatment backgrounds
  • Continuity with counselors
  • Health and psychiatric services
  • Child care services
  • Transportation services
  • Housing services

It is important to note that studies suggest women who experience substance abuse problems often have underlying mental illness and a history of physical or sexual abuse. It is likely that these issues will surface during the detox process and addressing them will be an integral part of the future success of the recovery. 

Medical Detox at The Detox Center of Los Angeles 

Choosing The Detox Center of Los Angeles for your medical detox will not only provide you with top medical care, but it will also connect you with professionals who are dedicated to your triumph. Struggling with addiction is not something that is taken lightly and pregnancy can make it feel all the more overwhelming. 

At TDCLA, you can expect a team who understands that this time of your life feels uneasy and unsettling when it should be filled with comfort and joy. We are here and ready to help you rediscover the life you deserve, embrace your inner strength, and prepare for your new life in parenthood. 


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Will my insurance cover treatment for addiction?

The Detox Center of L.A. accepts most major insurance providers and private healthcare policies. We offer free insurance verification as well as eligibility and benefits for both behavioral and mental health treatment services. Please fill out our insurance verification form here to verify your insurance.

What happens in addiction

Effective addiction treatment programs are tailored to each individual. Because of this, it will be a different experience for everyone. However, it generally involves a combination of detoxification, group and individual therapy, educational presentations, and aftercare planning in order to ensure long-term recovery. Upon arrival at The Detox Center of L.A., you can expect our professionally trained staff to create an individualized treatment plan based on your needs and treatment goals.