Pregnant Women Addicted to Opioids Face Tough Choices, Fear Treatment Can Lead to Separation and Harm


By Emma Ockerman

Original Source:

Jennifer Kostoff had been in a heroin rehabilitation program for a little more than a week when a routine blood screen showed she was pregnant. Caregivers told her she would have to leave. She could be a liability.

The inpatient center near her Granite City, Ill., home had prescribed her Suboxone — a drug often used to control cravings and drug withdrawal symptoms — but said last September that it could harm her unborn child. Kostoff worried that withdrawal wouldn’t be safe for the baby, either. And would seeking treatment elsewhere lead her to trouble with law enforcement or a loss of custody of her baby?

“Most people think, ‘How could you not stop with a baby in your belly?’ ” Kostoff said. “But the physical cravings, the mental cravings, they take over despite what’s going on with your body.”

As the nation’s opioid crisis has deepened, the number of drug treatment centers for pregnant women has…click here to continue reading