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Heroin and Pregnancy : Know the Risks

Click here to start at the beginning, “Introduction to Heroin Abuse and Addiction.”

Heroin and Pregnancy: Know How to Get Treatment

Heroin abuse during pregnancy and the indirect consequences (e.g., lack of prenatal care) have been associated with negative consequences including low birth weight which is an important risk factor for later developmental problems. Methadone maintenance combined with prenatal care and a comprehensive drug treatment program can improve many of the negative outcomes associated with untreated heroin abuse, although infants exposed to methadone during pregnancy typically require treatment for withdrawal symptoms. In the United States, several studies have found buprenorphine to be equally effective and as safe as methadone in the adult outpatient treatment of opioid dependence. Given this efficacy among adults, current studies are attempting to establish the safety and effectiveness of buprenorphine in opioid-dependent pregnant women. For women who do not want or are not able to receive pharmacotherapy for their heroin addiction, detoxification from opiates during pregnancy can be accomplished with relative safety, although the likelihood of relapse to heroin use should be considered. 

Click here to view the next part in the series, “Heroin: HIV & Hepatitis.” Click here to return to the first part in the series, “Introduction to Heroin Abuse and Addiction.”

The above information is from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Research Report Series – “Heroin Abuse and Addiction”. The report is also available at NIDA’s website at

Pat Moore Foundation’s drug & alcohol detox and alcohol & drug addiction treatment programs are licensed and certified by The State of California. We provide non-medical and medically managed detoxification (using Suboxone, Subutex, and Buprenorphine when appropriate) and primary residential treatment. Our individual homes are on a unique co-ed campus where we offer gender specific treatment. We are located in Costa Mesa, in Orange County, Southern California, close to Newport Beach and Huntington Beach, and only an hour’s drive from Los Angeles and San Diego. To speak with a counselor, please call us 24-hours at (888) 426-6086 or if you’d like us to contact you, send a confidential message online by filling out our online form.

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