Discussions that mention methadone

Addiction & Recovery board

hello to everyone,
this is my first time on the message board. i have a question for anyone who can help me. i am 7 months pregnant and i have been taking 10mg of methadone aday for the whole 7 months. i am scared to tell my dr. because i was not prescribed them. i have been getting them from a friend. my due date is near and i want to tell my dr. so that he will know when i deliver. but i am scared thay will take my baby. what should i do?
Hi friend ....

I'm not a lawyer or a doctor but the first thing I am thinking is that you don't want to lose your baby. I also think you want to give that baby the best possible start in life. I'm concerned that s/he is addicted to methadone, and if you don't tell someone, it'll go through needless withdrawal without you after birth.

If this were me, I would think of some options:
a. Figuring out a tapering schedule that would help you AND the baby get clean before you deliver.
b. Trusting your doctor NOW, and taking the initiative to step up and say that you and your baby need help NOW.
c. Doing nothing and having Family & Child Protective Svcs make all the decisions for you.

I am saying all of this kindly and with a lot of care for your situation. Do you have any adult, drug-free friends, a pastor/rabbi - an adult - whom you can also confide in? Do you have any kind of insurance coverage of your own or your parents so you can go to rehab.

I want you and your baby to have the best life. I hope you find the option that helps you both find that.

I work with F&CPS (not in their dept but closely) so I don't know your state law, but ours automatically drug tests the baby at birth (via the meconium, not urine). Our state will automatically place your baby in CPS custody with a positive drug test. It's not impossible that you would regain custody, but if you take proative steps FORWARD NOW, you have a chance. Please know that there are many people who will want to keep you two together. But every day closer to delivery brings you closer to others finding out on their own, which weakens your case for being able to take care of that little one.

I know this must be hard to read but again, I am posting this to hopefully put your options on the table and help you find a way to keep moving forward. If I can help in anyway, all you need to do is ask. I will pray for you at work today and hope that you will find God's hand on your shoulder and the support on this board. Keep posting and let us know what steps you take and how things are going.

hey - im back.

after a bit of trawling i found out a few things which i'd like you to read.

According to Margaret A.E. Jarvis, M.D., and Sidney H. Schnoll, M.D., Ph.D., from the Medical College of Virginia, the risks to mother and fetus in methadone maintenance are far fewer than those associated with cycles of sudden withdrawal and reintoxication by street drugs, as well as the related lifestyle dangers including high-risk HIV related behaviors. Women denied or removed from methadone maintenance during pregnancy are highly likely to relapse into heroin use.

Jarvis and Schnoll based their conclusions on a review of the literature. Although there are few studies on the effects of opioids in human fetuses, animal studies indicate that such drug use produces fetal stress. Precipitated withdrawal is worse than intoxication, but cycles of abuse and withdrawal are particularly harmful.

Methadone maintenance is the best way to provide stabilization, although infants born to methadone maintained mothers may undergo a withdrawal syndrome after birth. Infant withdrawal "combines the symptoms of the adult withdrawal syndrome, with irritability, poorly coordinated sucking and, in the most severe cases, seizure and death." Lowering the methadone dosage can lessen or even eliminate this withdrawal syndrome, however. The authors report that "at methadone doses of less than 20 mg per day, little or no neonatal abstinence is seen."

Methadone treatment for pregnant women works best in "well-coordinated multidisciplinary care settings" where good obstetrical and medical care, as well as counseling and parenting education, can be provided.

However, the authors emphasize that they "discourage" withdrawal from methadone during pregnancy except under unusual circumstances.

Methadone maintenance is optimal in pregnancy.
(adapted from the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 26:155-161, 1994)

The Brown University Digest of Addiction Theory and Application, Feb 1995 v14 n2

so - i would say the best thing to do is to come clean with your doc - as mano said. - do not try and taper off alone - as this may be risky. your doc is the best option for you and your baby.

if you've read what i have posted - i hope that this has helped ease your anxiety - you are taking a minimal dosage - so your baby 'should' be ok. try not to worry/panic.

keep us posted as to how you are doing

I haven't admitted this to many people, but I too was taking small doses of methadone while pregnant. I didn't tell the Doctors. When my baby was born.. for the 2nd day we were in the hospital, I could tell certain things.. jerky hands, slept a lot, more than normal.. his temp rose some.. after a lot of praying.. the symptoms went away... and they were minimal. So much the Dr didn't see anything when they checked him out and the nurses that kept him both nights didn't see it. But I did because I knew what to look for. Try your best to get as low as possible. I know how impossible it can be to just open up and tell people. It's easier said than done. I'm just telling you this because I've been through it, and people that haven't don't know what they would do in this situation. Just play it by ear and do what you think is best for you and your baby. I did a lot of research before I had him, and Yoss is right in what he says below. I wish you all the best

hay droopyeyes,
i am a very religous person and i truly believe that god has sent you to me. you sent chills up my spine when you said that you work for f&cps. because i need someone like you to talk to. first is it the law that my ob gyn has to report me if i tell him? i am not a past drug user and this is the first drug that i have been on. i had a a very serious accident where i fell into a four fot hole on private property and injuried my back a few months before i became pregnant and that is what put me on methadone. the owners of the property who live out of state are non cooperative and not willing to work with my lawyer, so my case has basicly been closed because i am notgoing be able to pay the dr bills or the lawyer if i can not collect any money from the property's owner. i am a single mother of 4 and had no insurance and because of that i could not afford to pay for my meds so i have been geting them from a friend. i have made it up in my mind that i am going to stop taking them when this batch is gone, but i am still worried that it will show up when i deliver at the end of march. what should i do? do you know how long it stays in the system? i want to tell my dr. so that he will know. will cps take all my kids if she test positive at birth? even if i have no prior drug problems or proir addicted children. i'm very confused and very scared.:
hello to my extended internet family,
this is myonlybabygirl. i wanted to give you an update. first and foremost i wanted to thank you for listening an responding and not judging me. i went to the doctor yesterday and at first i was going to tell him a lie but i just couldn't do it. so i told him the whole truth and he was very understanding he gave me a script for lortab to help me with the cravings. he told me to stop taking the methadone. he is going to give me a script every month until the baby is born. this way i will have a rx prescribed by a dr. and i will not have any worries about f&cps when my baby is born.