Special Concerns

Pain Management Issues

Some clients come to us for help overcoming an opioid addiction, but after reviewing their case we learn that a poorly managed chronic pain condition is assumed to be an addiction. We can distinguish the difference between a physical dependence, psychological addiction and a need for physical relief. MAT may not be a good therapeutic choice for a chronic pain issue whereas a pain management expert could be more helpful.

However, if you do begin methadone maintenance treatment and become tolerant to its pain-relieving effects, you may need additional pain medication. You and your doctor can talk about your pain to determine the best solution.

Either way, we can help ensure you get the correct care.

  • MAT Clinic – Pensacola, Fl.,  850.466.3400
  • MAT Clinic – Shalimar, Fl.,  850.609.1040
  • MAT Clinic – Century, Fl.,  850.256.6165

Pregnancy Postpartum

If you’re pregnant and using drugs it’s important that you get help for yourself and your unborn baby. Methadone maintenance treatment can help you stop using drugs such as heroin or opioid prescription pain killers. Methadone is safe for your baby, keeps you free of withdrawal, and gives you the opportunity to take care of yourself.

We have answered some of the more common questions from mothers (below), but if you would like more information, please call one of our clinics at:

  • MAT Clinic – Pensacola, Fl.,  850.466.3400
  • MAT Clinic – Shalimar, Fl.,  850.609.1040
  • MAT Clinic – Century, Fl.,  850.256.6165

How does methadone work?

  • Reduces or eliminates cravings for opioid drug use.
  • Prevents the onset of withdrawal for 24 hours or more.
  • Blocks the effects of other opioids.
  • Promotes increased physical and emotional health.
  • Raises the overall quality of life of the pregnant woman.
  • By blocking withdrawal symptoms, methadone can save your baby’s life.
  • Withdrawal (from opiates) for pregnant women is especially dangerous because it causes the uterus to contract and may bring on miscarriage or premature birth.
  • Taking methadone during pregnancy may prevent miscarriage, fetal distress, and premature labor.

Is methadone safe for my baby?

  • Methadone is not harmful to the developing fetus – but withdrawal is.
  • When properly prescribed for pregnant women, methadone provides a non-stressful environment where the fetus can develop.
  • Taking methadone while pregnant will not cause birth defects for your baby, but some infants may experience withdrawal after birth.
  • Studies have shown that your dose of medication has no bearing on whether or not your baby experiences withdrawal.
  • Infant withdrawal usually begins a few days after your baby is born, but may begin two to four weeks after birth.
  • Withdrawal symptoms may last several weeks and commonly include:
    • Fussiness/restlessness
    • Not eating or sleeping well
    • Fever
    • Vomiting
    • Trembling
  • Methadone does not cause fetal abnormalities. No harmful effects to a fetus have been found in the study of methadone’s effect on pregnancy.
  • Premature birth and low birth weight can be associated with cigarette smoking and/or poor nutrition and are not attributed to methadone.

Is my baby safe if I breastfeed while taking methadone?

  • Breast-feeding is now considered safe for the babies of women who are taking methadone, but not safe for women who are HIV positive.
  • Small amounts of methadone in breast milk can pass to the baby.
  • Methadone levels in breast milk are very low.
  • Though breastfeeding generally is recommended, you should still discuss it with your doctor.

What can I expect after birth?

  • Even in cases when methadone is prescribed during pregnancy, the babies have been exposed to a Schedule II (i.e. government regulation) drug during pregnancy.
  • Ask to receive services from Florida’s Healthy Start Program.
  • Services available include medical services, developmental services, substance abuse treatment services, Medicaid, and protective services through Department of Children and Families (DCF), and their contractors.

Behavioral Health Services | 1221 W. Lakeview Avenue | Pensacola, Florida 32501 |  850.469.3500