Pregnancy & Addiction
Get the help you need for both mom and baby.
Pregnancy should be a positive and exciting time in a woman’s life. Unfortunately, substance use disorder and addiction can compromise the health and well-being of both mom and baby. The prevalence of opioid misuse has risen dramatically over the past decade, with maternal opioid use at the time of delivery more than quadrupling from 1999 to 2014. 
The use of some illicit drugs during pregnancy can result in long term problems, even fatalities to the baby. These problems can include birth defects, low birth weight, premature birth, small head circumference, and SIDS. Because of this ROAD does not tolerate use of any illicit substances while in our pregnancy program. 
We understand the associated issues of addiction and pregnancy and have a well-established program designed for pregnant women.
The providers and staff at ROAD to a Better Life want your birthing experience to be as worry free as possible. No one in New Hampshire has more experience providing buprenorphine therapy to a pregnant individual with substance use disorder.
Clearly, addiction during pregnancy is a complex problem that requires treatment not only for the mother, but the child as well. Exposure of the fetus to opioids can lead to a well characterized condition known as NEONATAL ABSTINENCE SYNDROME or NAS, which is more commonly referred to as “baby withdrawal”. Withdrawal symptoms in the neonate usually begin within 72 hours of birth and can include the following: 
Data gathered in 2016 by the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, which is managed by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, indicates that “approximately one baby is diagnosed with NAS every 19 minutes in the United States, or nearly 80 newborns diagnosed every day.” 
The ROAD program works to minimize the occurrence of NAS by using buprenorphine to treat addiction during pregnancy. According to the Society for the Study of Addiction, the incidence and severity of NAS is greatly diminished when patients are treated with buprenorphine when compared with patients undergoing methadone, an alternative medication for treating addiction during pregnancy. The research also suggests that buprenorphine is compatible with breastfeeding and that there are no harmful effects of in utero buprenorphine exposure on infant development. 
Consequently buprenorphine is now widely considered to be the safest drug for use during pregnancy for Medical Assisted Therapy. In addition, buprenorphine/naloxone combinations (Suboxone, Bunavail, Zubsolv) are just as safe as buprenorphine alone.
Each patient will be seen weekly for the first 4-6 weeks, then every two weeks for the duration of the pregnancy. Our program works in concert with local hospitals and OB departments to ensure a continuity of care throughout labor and delivery.
We want the entire pregnancy and birth experience to be one of joy and comfort for all of our patients. To ensure the very best outcomes and that our patients are on track getting well, patients are required to submit urine specimens at each visit and to participate with our integrated therapy program.