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Kratom Use During Pregnancy

Kratom Use During Pregnancy & Withdrawal Symptoms in Newborns

Kratom, an herbal supplement with effects similar to opioids has caused a significant amount of withdrawal symptoms in two newborns in the United States. While currently legal and widely available in the U.S. these finding is beginning to raise red flags towards pregnant mothers using Kratom during pregnancy.

Kratom Use During Pregnancy Case

The first case involved a baby boy who was exposed to Kratom during pregnant. While this is only the second reported case of withdrawal symptoms for newborns exposed to Kratom, this signifies the growing use of pregnant women seeking alternatives to opioid painkillers, heroin, and oxycodone according to Dr. Whitney Eldridge.

Eldridge is a neonatologist at Morton Plant Hospital and St. Joseph Women’s Hospital located in Florida. According to Dr. Eldridge “I think mothers are becoming increasingly aware of the dangers of using prescription and non-prescription opioids during pregnancy”.

Eldridge added, “as opioid use among pregnant women has increased, I fear they may seek kratom as a potentially safe, legal, non-opioid alternative aid for opioid withdrawal, as its opioid-like properties are not well-advertised”.

Kratom Classification

The U.S Food and Drug Administration classified compounds in kratom as opioids in February 2018. Based on a computer analysis of kratom, receptors in the brain are activated in the same manner as opioids.

However, the controversy of kratom continues to remain in full swing. Kratom continues to be sold as a dietary supplement used to manage pain and boost energy. While also continuing to be sold as a non-opioid remedy for opioid withdrawal. Experts say, non-opioid alternatives to treat opioid dependence will continue to be researched and criticized.

Kratom Withdrawal Treatment

On November 7, 2018, the Pediatrics journal published another case involved another newborn boy whose mother had a seven-year history of oxycodone use. However, his mother had successfully completed a drug treatment program two years prior to the birth of her son. Her drug test came back negative in the hospital for drug use.

The mother denied the use of prescription medications, illegal drugs, and supplements during pregnancy. However, the child’s father reported daily use of kratom as an herbal tea throughout the duration of her pregnancy. It was reported the tea was purchased for help with sleep and opioid withdrawal symptoms.

For 8 days after the baby boy was born, he was treated with morphine and blood pressure medication to improve conditions and fortunately was released from the hospital.

Eldridge also added, “prior to this case, I was unfamiliar with kratom and unaware of its protentional to be a source of withdrawal for [newborn babies]. After caring for this infant, I started to pay attention to how heavily kratom is advertised and realized pediatricians and obstetricians need to be familiarized with its potential to affect our patients.”

Further research is needed to make the decision as to how to classify kratom.

Kratom’s Role in Opioid Dependence

While kratom may potentially have a role in opioid dependence, there is currently too little date to define that role. Pregnant women should disclose the use of kratom to their physician just as they would with alcohol and tobacco. It is the physician’s responsibility to educate women on the potential impacts of kratom for their newborn.

Many do not believe that herbal supplements will have impacts on the child as it is a “natural” remedy.

However, Dr. Buscema at Addiction Alternatives has many years of experience with treating opioid dependence in pregnant women. Do not take it upon yourself to detox and find alternatives to treat your dependence especially while pregnant. This process should be done under the care of a licensed psychiatrist specialized to treat opioid dependence to prevent complications.

If you or someone you know is pregnant and struggles with opioid dependence, please give us a call (772) 618-0505.

What Is The Process Of Diagnosing Addiction?

What is the process for diagnosing addiction? Addiction Alternatives

What Is the Process for Diagnosing Addiction?DSM-5 Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Book Cover

Addiction is a chronic condition that can be difficult to diagnose and treat properly. Addiction is not a disease that can be treated solely on the diagnosis from a doctor. While the signs may be glaring, diagnosing the disease requires the person struggling with addiction to acknowledge the problem and having the desire to address the disease. 

Initially, the diagnosis of addiction caused controversy in previous editions of the Diagnosis and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM). However, the newest edition has combined substance abuse as well as dependence in a new category, substance abusedisorder.

The DSM-V was the first to include gambling addiction in the definition, as the behaviors associated triggers similar reward circuits as with other substance abuse disorders.

The Diagnostic Process

The first step in diagnosis requires acknowledgment from either the person with addiction themselves, a friend, or family member.

This is typically the most difficult step. Often times this step involves a personal or group intervention if an individual with substance use disorder is unable to see the extent of the problem.

Those with a suspected substance use disorder can begin their recovery process by visiting their primary care provider who can refer them to an addiction facility or rehabilitation specialist.

The suspected addict will go through a series of questions with their PCP about frequency of use, impairment of daily living, and whether the use of a substance is increasing. The primary care provider will also ask questions about how the pattern of use is impacting important social, occupational, education or other functional areas of the person’s life.

Questions regarding withdrawal symptoms that will have possibly occurred during times when the person has attempted to decrease or stop will narrow in on the severity of the disease progression.

The doctor will the complete a physical exam and run blood work to assess the overall health of the individual. This will help to determine
the type of facility that is appropriate for the individual.

Prescription Pills Addiction Diagnosis


The DSM-V separated substance abuse disorder into nine individual categories.

  • Alcohol-related disorders
  • Caffeine-related disorders
  • Cannabis-related disorders
  • Hallucinogen-related disorders
  • Inhalant-related disorders
  • Opioid-related disorders
  • Sedative-, hypnotic-, or anxiolytic-related disorders
  • Stimulant-related disorders
  • Tobacco-related disorders
  • Other, or unknown, substance-related disorders
  • Non-substance-related disorders

DSM-V lists varying criteria for the above categories and many dependencies are accompanied with different withdrawal symptoms that occur when an individual does not have the ability to obtain the substance.

To receive a diagnosis of substance use disorder, an individual must demonstrate two of the following criteria within a 12-month period:

  • Regularly consuming larger amounts of a substance than initially intended or for a longer amount of time than anticipated
  • Often attempting to moderate the intake of a substance without actually reducing consumption or at least wishing to moderate the intake
  • Spending long periods trying to obtain or recover from use of the substance
  • Expressing a strong desire or craving the substance
  • Failing to fulfill professional, educational, and family obligations
  • Regularly using a substance in spite of social, emotional or personal issues it may be causing
  • Giving up pastimes, passions or social activities as a result of substance use
  • Consuming the substance in places or situations that could cause physical injury
  • Continuing to consume a substance despite being aware of physical or psychological harm it is likely to have caused
  • Increased tolerance, meaning that the person must consumer more of the substance to achieve intoxication
  • Withdrawal symptoms, or a physical response to not consuming the substance that is different for varying substances but may include sweating, shaking and nausea.

The number of qualifying criteria a person demonstrates helps define the severity of the dependence. If a personal regularly demonstrates two of three of these criteria, the DSM advises that that have a mild substance use disorder.

A person with four to five of these criteria would have a moderate substance use disorder. Six or more continuous prevalence in criteria would denote a severe addiction.

As new evidence emerges regarding addictive disorders, researchers attempt to determine whether or not they can develop reliable diagnostic criteria.

Some addictive disorders appear in the International Classification of Disease, Tenth Edition such as sex addiction, which the ICD-10 classes under the category of “other sexual dysfunction not due to a substance or know physiological condition”.

Whereas the DSM-V does not acknowledge sex addiction as a diagnosis.

A study from 2016, suggests that smartphone addiction is a developing condition and fits within the criteria of addiction.

Take Away

The DSM-V uses a category called “substance use disorder” to group addictive disorders.

Diagnosing the substance use disorder is a vital first step from either the person with the condition or someone close to the individual. Acknowledging and accepting the fact that a health problem exists must also be accompanied with wanting help, otherwise treatment is unlikely to be a success.

A doctor will ask about the patterns of use to determine the fit within the criteria in the DSM-V. Primary Care Providers will also assess the impact of physical damage already prevalent as a result of the substance use disorder.Addiction Diagnosis

To match the criteria, an individual must present two or more signs of addiction over the previous 12 months, including consuming more and more quantities, continued use despite severe consequences, and a reducing interest in activities and socializing.

A person who fits a large number of criteria is diagnosed with a severe substance use disorder.

The doctor will then refer the individual for specialized care.

Opioids: The Crisis Next Door

The Crisis Next Door: Stories of the opioid epidemic


The US government has created a website to inspire hope for people suffering from opioid addiction.  On the website, Crisis Next Doorthere is a list of different people and their stories.  Some are famous, such as Darryl Strawberry, and others are just your everyday, average American. To hear some of their stories about overcoming addiction click the button below:

In 2018, more than 2 million Americans will suffer from addiction to prescription or illicit opioids. Opioids killer more people last year than either car accidents or gun violence. The crisis of addiction can affect any Amercian, from all-state football captains to stay-at-home mothers.  As a result, Americans across the country are feeling the weight of the crisis next door.

Oxycodone Addiction: Symptoms and Treatment

Oxycodone Addiction: Symptoms and Treatment

Oxycodone Addiction: Symptoms & Treatment

Oxycodone addiction is an epidemic. It’s powerful opiate and often used by doctors to treat mild to moderate as well as post-operative pain, the MentalHelp.Net says.

Immediate effects
Growing dependence on opiates can lead to the following conditions.

  • Dulled physical and emotional sensations
  • Euphoria
  • Mood swings
  • Hallucinations (possible at high doses)
  • Lack of motivation
  • Slow and sluggish movements
  • Poor judgment due to inability to focus and concentrate
  • Anxiety
  • Slowed respiration and heart rate
  • Appetite changes
  • Changes in sleeping patterns

Long-term effects

Prolonged use of the drug can lead to heart problems, lower immunity, pregnancy complications, permanent brain damage, personality changes, loss of memory and mental health symptoms that will only grow worse over time.


Given the effects of the drug, it’s essential that you look for a treatment center that offers oxycodone addiction treatment in Florida as soon as possible. Don’t try to go cold turkey because this will do more harm than good to your health. If you’ve been using the drug for a long time, you’ll need to undergo a medically-assisted withdrawal process. That’s because the longer you use the drugs, the more severe your withdrawal symptoms will get. With a trained and competent medical team to look after your needs, you can go through the process safely and in greater comfort.

Find a facility

Look for a facility that’s been around for years. Consider the staff. Do they have the right credentials and qualifications to provide you with the help and assistance you need?

Ask about the program

Know more about the program. You’ll have an easier time choosing a facility for oxycodone addiction treatment in Florida when you know what their care program entails. Pick one that can provide you with treatment options well-suited to your personality and needs. (Source: https://www.werecover.com/blog/lyrica-withdrawal/)

Know as much as you can

If your doctor tells you that you’re suffering from a dual condition, that means you have a mental condition along with your drug addiction. You’ll need to look for a drug rehabilitation facility that’s well equipped to handle your case. Failure to treat both conditions will only lead to more problems in the future.

Pick a program

For cases involving prolonged drug use, residential treatment programs are a much better option. The isolation will help you cut ties with bad influences, keep you from being exposed to potential triggers, and provide you with the means to cope with those triggers in the future without resorting to drugs.

Want to know more? Ask us at Addiction Alternatives.

Suboxone Addiction and Treatment

Suboxone Addiction and Treatment

Suboxone Addiction and Treatment

The FDA approved Suboxone for the treatment of opiate addiction, the Daily Beast reports. That’s because Suboxone presents lower risks of abuse. If you think your loved one is in danger of abusing the drug and overdosing on it, though, here are a few symptoms to watch out for.

Symptoms of Suboxone overdose

Check his pupils. Does he have pinpoint pupils? Is he experiencing extreme drowsiness? Does he suffer from blurry vision and dizziness? If your loved one’s breathing show signs of slowing down, don’t wait it out. Get help right away. If the symptoms persist, it could lead to collapse, breathing problems, and death.

Explore treatment options

Patients who suffer from psychological problems or an inability to deal with problems and stressful situations may resort to the use of this substance. One way to stop the addiction is to look for treatment options that are right for your loved one. This will include outpatient therapy, residential treatment programs, a combination of the two and even group sessions and one-on-one sessions. Discuss these options to make sure he knows about them. That should help your loved one make an informed decision about where to seek out Suboxone treatment in Florida.

Understand why

Don’t judge your loved one for the choices he made. That’s not going to help him achieve a successful recovery. Instead, read about the addiction. Know what your loved one is dealing with. That’s going to improve your perspective on things and make you more likely to offer help and support without any bitterness or hurt.

Relapses are a part of it

Relapses are a normal part of the process. Don’t give up on your loved one because of a relapse or two. Continue to offer your support. That’s going to drive your loved one to work harder towards recovery.

Don’t make comparisons

Everyone’s journey to recovery is different. Someone may only take months or a year. Someone may take years. There’s no manual to getting there. That’s why it’s never a good idea to compare your loved one’s rate of progress with someone else’s. Instead, focus on your loved one’s recovery—on his small triumphs and successes. That’s going to contribute to his desire to get sober.

Look for help

If you need Suboxone treatment in Florida, don’t look any further than Addiction Alternatives. Check out the options we offer to help you find the treatment and facility that’s going to work for your loved one.

6 Steps to Help a Loved One with Suboxone Addiction

6 Steps to Help a Loved One with Suboxone Addiction

6 Steps to Help a Loved One with Suboxone Addiction

Families struggle with the reality of addiction every day. Here’s how you can help a loved one with a suboxone addiction:

1. Don’t believe in myths

Get educated. Before you think about saying anything about the issue, read up on how suboxone works, how it affects people, and what can be done to help addicts recover. Being informed about these things will ensure that you don’t put your foot in your mouth. That also means you won’t end up believing myths and misconceptions that could lead to conflict between you and your loved one.

2. Get help

Don’t wait until your loved one is ready. As soon as your parent or brother talks to you about his addiction problems, start looking for facilities and treatment programs that offer Suboxone addiction detox in Florida. Providing your loved one with options can encourage and motivate him to seek out treatment.

3. Know the signs of withdrawal

Know what withdrawal symptoms look like. Withdrawal symptoms will include the following: restlessness, mood swings, muscle tension, irritability, insomnia, sleepiness, depression, discomfort, diarrhea, fatigue, body aches, anxiety and more, the Mental Health Daily says. If you think your loved one is going to try to go cold turkey, he’s going to undergo unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Without the assistance and help of trained and competent medical staff, he could end up exposing himself to medical risks. By being familiar with the signs, you know if you need to look for Suboxone addiction detox in Florida right away.

4. Do your homework

Finding the best and safest way to stop taking suboxone is to look for a treatment program and facility, one with a good reputation for helping patients. You may also consider other things like follow-up care. Not all treatment programs have strong follow-up care, which can be crucial in preventing relapses in the future.

5. Consider fit

Don’t pick a treatment program or facility without thoroughly checking out if it’s a good fit for your loved one. Do you see him in that setting? Is it a good fit for his situation, needs, and personality? You’ll want to provide your loved one with options that work. That’s why factoring in these things is a must.

6. Offer your support

Familial support can improve a person’s rate of recovery. Be involved if you want your loved one to show improvement. Continue to offer your support. For more information, talk to us at Addiction Alternatives. We can help.