Medical Consensus or Child Abuse? Moms on Methadone Caught in the Middle

 “Cases like Rebecca’s have become increasingly common in recent years, according to maternal-health and drug-treatment advocates, who say they are seeing more parents charged with child abuse for undergoing methadone maintenance, despite scientific evidence showing that it is the best way to wean addicts off opiates. The treatment may even save a fetus’s life, since going cold turkey can bring on premature birth or in some cases a miscarriage.”

“But because methadone is an opiate, like the drugs it is prescribed to treat, there is confusion among some doctors, child welfare workers and judges that using it is just substituting one drug for another, said Jocelyn Woods of the National Alliance for Medication Assisted Recovery.”

Mothers get caught in the middle. “Judges and caseworkers are practicing medicine without a license, even against medical advice,” said Emma Ketteringham of National Advocates for Pregnant Women, who worked on Rebecca’s case.

Source: The – September 2, 2012