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  1. #1
    melissa Guest

    Default Detoxing from meth while pregnet.

    I am a twenty five year old mother of one other child who was removed from my custody at birth for testing positive for methodone.I am currentley six and a half months pregnet, I was informed that if my child tested for methodone at birth she will also be removed.I was at 135mgs when I found out I was pregnet and until yesterday I had detoxed down to 14mgs. I went into premature labor due to detoxing and the first thing they did was give me more methodone(another 14mgs) they were able to stop the labor; however they have taken my methodone dose up to 28mgs (14mgs twice a day) I have been on a high dose for almost six years and I am trying to find out any information that would make this detox less painful and/or a little bit safer. I have been up all night surfing the net to find any information that I can use In my what seems like a never ending struggle. Please help

  2. #2
    Shindog is offline Senior Member
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    Hello Melissa
    Guess there was a reason for me to wake up at 2AM.:) Here is a link for you:
    http://hometown.aol.com/varnua/index.html

    Once you get to the web page, scroll down and you will find a link to an article entitled METHADONE AND PREGNANCY. I hope it is helpful to you. I've never read this particular article (I'm a man)but the webpage has alot of other very good Methadone info that I have read. There is also a booklet you can access from that site called ABOUT METHADONE, which I have read. It also contains a section relating to pregnancy. Good luck to you and your baby.:)

  3. #3
    lily is offline Senior Member
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    Hi Melissa
    I gave birth to both my kids while on methadone. I was strongly advised NOT to taper while pregnant, becuase of just the risk you experienced - miscarriage or premature labour. It's better for both you and baby for you to remain stable on your dose. Because methadone crosses the placenta, babies can show withdrawal symptoms when they are born (sneezing, shaking) and the hospital should be able to give small amounts of oral morphine to relieve that.

    I am fortunate to live in Sydney (I assume you're in the US?)where the major hospitals are compassionate and take a harm-minimisation approach. I was on 40mg methadone when my daughter was born. She showed slight WD symtoms and was put on a small amount of morphine which they showed me how to adminster myself in decreasing amounts for a month afterwards. When my son was born, I was on 30mg, and he did not need morphine. The doctors and nursing staff were wonderful.

    The hopsital I was at had a 'Drugs in Pregnancy' service, where pregnant heroin users are counselled to start methadone, and those on methadone are monitored. I can't believe they took away your child just 'cos you were on methadone - it's criminal. Better methadone than street drugs - over here, being on methadone would be seen as a positive thing and make it more likely you would keep your baby.

    Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy - please, stabilise your dose and stay there till the birth! Forget tapering! Can you get a counsellor or social worker at the hospital to act as an advocate for you? They should be looking at things like your support networks, whether you are using street drugs etc...NOT simply whether the baby shows traces of methadone!!

    Thanks Shindog for posting those sites: i havent looked at them yet, but hope they are useful for you Melissa. I could probably find you some more info too if you need it - let me know.

    Take care.
    Lily :)



  4. #4
    lily is offline Senior Member
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    Melissa
    Me again. Here is a site from the Australian Drug Foundation. Scroll down to the bit on 'Pregnancy and Breastfeeding.'

    http://www.nevdgp.org.au/geninf/adf/methadone.htm

    I think this bit is particularly impt to stress to your Drs:

    "the lifestyle of women is often enhanced when on methadone treatment, resulting in improved nutrition and less stress, which all contribute to a healthier baby "

    At 28mg, I doubt your baby will even show WD symptoms, and if s/he does they will be mild. I wouldn't stress your baby out trying to come down further on what's already a small dose (you will notice alot more kicking and squirming from an uncomfy baby if you do!)

    I would say (politely) to the medical staff that in a perfect world, our pregnancies would always be planned well in advance giving us time to taper beforehand - but hey, welcome to the REAL world!

    Best of luck.

    Lily :)

  5. #5
    mirage75 is offline Senior Member
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    Melissa - If I were you I would start looking into advocacy groups. I dont know exactly who you should talk too ; I would suggest starting at the methadone today web page. You may be able to call the ACLU (American Cival Liberties Union).
    Methadone is recognized as a legitimate harm reduction tool , and in a country where opiate-addicted mothers to be are often counseled to get ON methadone having your child taken away for doing just that is an OUTRAGE.
    My heart goes out to ya ; the powers that be have a tendency to kick us down as we try to recover.......

    -Chris

  6. #6
    melissa is offline Junior Member
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    quote:Originally posted by lily

    Melissa
    Me again. Here is a site from the Australian Drug Foundation. Scroll down to the bit on 'Pregnancy and Breastfeeding.'

    http://www.nevdgp.org.au/geninf/adf/methadone.htm

    I think this bit is particularly impt to stress to your Drs:

    "the lifestyle of women is often enhanced when on methadone treatment, resulting in improved nutrition and less stress, which all contribute to a healthier baby "

    At 28mg, I doubt your baby will even show WD symptoms, and if s/he does they will be mild. I wouldn't stress your baby out trying to come down further on what's already a small dose (you will notice alot more kicking and squirming from an uncomfy baby if you do!)

    I would say (politely) to the medical staff that in a perfect world, our pregnancies would always be planned well in advance giving us time to taper beforehand - but hey, welcome to the REAL world!

    Best of luck.

    Lily :)
    Lily, Thank you for responding! I was woundering how long it toke for your children to detox off methodone after their birth? And did you stay on the same dose the entire pregnancie? With my first daughter the clinic took me up 5mgs every couple weeks; but, with this child I'm at a differnt clinic and they left it up to me to raise my dose or not. Also do you know anything about the drug Suboxone? The first time I heard of it was two days ago and I found a list of doctors who prescribe it and I made myself a appointment for this monday, but I know very little about it any info would be great. I have no one to talk to about this even my so called boyfriend calls me a junkie for still being on methodone(he has 19years clean) but he never did any hard drugs so when I got extremley sick from detoxing he told me It was all in my head. I have been on nothing but methodone for years but I'm under so much pressure to get off. Hope your having a great day take care!! How is living in Australia? It must be a really neat place.

  7. #7
    lily is offline Senior Member
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    Hi Melissa
    Yes, Australia is a good place to live - although actually I am happy to be a New Zealander (married to an Aussie.)

    First let me answer your q. about how long it took my kids to detox when they were born. My daughter was tapered on oral morphine (only a couple of mils max) for the first month of her life. They 'score' your baby on a number of different points - muscle tone, cry pitch, sneezing etc. Even though my daughter suffered only mild WDs and didn't appear to be in distress (I do remember her doing tiny sneezes) of course I still felt guilty that she was starting life in withdrawal. But the medical staff tried to put my mind at ease, saying it wasn't so bad for babies, as they don't have anything to compare it with or 'know' that they are in 'withdrawal.' Like I said - my baby did not appear distressed, and the morphine was only enough to ease the WD symptoms - she didn't look stoned. Once again - if you are only on a small amount of M, the WD - if any - will be very mild. For my son - I was on 30mg M, only 10 less than for my daughter - and he didn't need morphine. Actually,there was hardly any difference in their symptoms - I think it was just that one Dr decided to go with the morphine, and the other didn't. It was THAT borderline.

    Now, about the suboxone. I used subutex (both contain buprenorphine: suboxone contains naltrexone as well) to finally come off methadone after 10 years. It's quite alot easier to reduce off - you don't feel the taper nearly as much, and when you finally come off (as I did in February this year) the WD is not as severe or long. Basically, I found it a life saver for getting off M.

    However I DON'T know anything about bupe and pregnancy ie. whether it's safe or recommended. I can find out through our Drugs in Pregnancy programme, if you like. But perhaps you'd be better off waiting until after the birth to switch to bupe. Sometimes it can take a little while to adjust from one to the other, and it might be distressing for the baby. Since you have already made an appt to see a Dr. about sub, make SURE they know what they are doing - from reading other's experiences on this board, it seems like half the Drs know squat about prescribing sub to ordinary patients, let alone pregnant ones!! Don't be afraid to ask questions - be assertive!!

    As for going up or down on your M. while pregnant - won't they let YOU decide on that, based on how YOU feel? It's true they sometimes raise your dose while pregnant, 'cos the M. doesn't hold you as well - you have a higher blood volume for a start. But you should let your body be your guide - you shouldn't have to go up more if you don't want to. I stayed on the same dose throughout my pregnancies - I FELT like going up but I didn't, 'cos I knew that the smaller the dose, the less chance that my baby would suffer WD symptoms.

    Your boyfriend doesn't sound very supportive - tell him to read this board if he wants to know the truth about detoxing from methadone...we'll tell 'im!!! ;)

    Hey, this post has got kinda long - but pregnancy and methadone - and making sure people are being treated compassionately - is a bit of a hobby horse for me! Mirage75 has a good point - you should get someone to advocate on your behalf. It helps to have someone who knows the system to go in to bat for you.

    Let us know how you get on.

    Lily:)

  8. #8
    chet is offline Senior Member
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    It makes me sick that people have planned pregentcies while on methadone. My girl friend is on meth and I take her to the doc every 3 months for the shot. Why would you want to put a baby though that suffering. Not to mention the baby will be an addict from birth.

    Chet

  9. #9
    lily is offline Senior Member
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    Chet
    I'm sorry if I make you sick, but i am one of the ones who had a planned pregnancy while on methadone. I can assure you that my baby did not suffer, nor was he born 'an addict.' Babies born to mothers on methadone may have a dependency, but they are not addicts (a very emotive term in this context), and especially with smaller doses, any WD symptoms are usually mild and easily treated. As I explained, the doctors were at pains to assure me that my baby was NOT suffering - and I believed them, as he was so calm and contented. And today he is a gorgeous happy healthy 4 yr old. I can't imagine making the decision NOT to have had him.

    I'm not bitching, just begging to differ!

    Lily



  10. #10
    chet is offline Senior Member
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    I am just saying that it troubles me sick was the wrong word. I dont think it fair to your child. When you say your baby did not suffer you have no idea


    Chet

  11. #11
    ShannoniM is offline Member
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    heY chet. You Just said it Yourself. You don't know if the babY suffers either.
    "Why would you want to put a baby though that suffering."
    i think that's a horrible thing to saY during a convo. where a mother is trYing everYthing poSsible to not have the babY suffer or be uncomfortable. i don't know if i would have had the courage to do what these mothers did in the past 5 Years.. of using then being on methadone. talk about it not being fair to the child.. imagine the alternative.. a mother aborting the babY out of guilt and fear. and what is "fair" in this situation .? it seems the world is not a "fair" place. there is no escaping that. good luck to both mothers who posted.. and You have mY respect for doing what You've done.

    shannoN.

    Ps- bY no means am i trYing to show DISrespect for what You said chet. i totallY respect Your opinion. obviouslY i Just happen to have a different one.

  12. #12
    chet is offline Senior Member
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    She tried everything name one . The only way to have an opiate free baby is to not have one on opiates. And I am Talking about planned babies I am not a fan of abortion either. Read the posts shannon

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