One of the ways to combat heroin addiction is through the means of taking methadone. While this treatment has been known to help people that have struggled with heroin get clean, there is controversy that surrounds substituting one drug for another. The fact of the matter is that methadone has decreased heroin use, criminal activity, intravenous infections in the blood such as hepatitis, HIV, or AIDS, and overdose. On the other hand, methadone can be abused like any other drugs and in 2005, it was documented that 4,000 people illicitly using methadone fatally overdosed.
Methadone has been shown to work more successfully when it is used in a long-term program to end heroin abuse rather than in the short-term. The effects of methadone can help someone to become free from the pain of heroin withdrawals and free from drug cravings. This can allow someone who is trying to rebuild their life in the aftermath of heroin addiction the capability to do so with methadone maintenance which may also be used by a woman who is pregnant.
The FDA characterizes Methadone as a Category C pregnancy drug which is classified under “not enough research has been done to determine if these drugs are safe.” And while methadone has been around for decades, it is still not abundantly clear if methadone is safe during pregnancy. Women under a doctor’s care have taken methadone because with some women it is more advantageous for them to take methadone than it is to relapse back on heroin. Research shows that a baby born on Methadone has better birth weight and better development in the gestational stage than a baby that is addicted to heroin.
Mothers that are taking Methadone will, however, give birth to babies that are addicted to Methadone because the drug enters the placenta which creates dependency in the fetus. Under supervision, a woman will be monitored to take the appropriate amount of Methadone for her specific case because too much could be worse for the baby and too little may cause a mother to give into her heroin cravings. There is a fine line to keeping the unborn child safe and keeping the mother from experiencing withdrawal symptoms.
Scientists cannot ethically administer tests to pregnant women to find out if certain medications can be detrimental to a woman’s pregnancy and her fetus. If something happened to the baby based on what they asked of the mother to take for testing, the results could be horrific and intentional testing with Methadone would be no different.
If you or someone you know if struggling with drug and alcohol addiction, Serenity Oaks Wellness Center can focus on showing you how to maintain sobriety. Our clinical and medical team work together to foster a unique treatment plan that will show you how to adorn your soul in recovery.
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