How one woman beat opioid addiction while pregnant

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How one woman beat opioid addiction while pregnant. Ali Gorman reports during the Action News special Opioid Crisis: Finding Solutions on July 19, 2018. (WPVI)

Addiction can happen to anyone and it affects everyone. In some cases, even unborn babies.

One local mother says finding out she was pregnant was her wake-up call.

Brittany Armentani of Trevose, Pa. always wanted to become a mom, but when she found out she was three months pregnant, she realized she had a problem with pills.

"I didnt know I was addicted because I'd come off them and not get sick, but I couldn't stop," Brittany said. "I craved them."

Doctor Kristi Dively says addiction during pregnancy is more common than people think. At Retreat at Lancaster County, they have a special program to help women like Brittany.

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Brittany Armentani tells us how pregnancy helped her start on the road to recovery during a interview in June, 2018.



She says stopping drugs cold turkey could harm the unborn baby, so the recommendation is for medication-assisted treatment.

Brittany was put on Buprenorphine, which helps stop cravings.

"Some people have the opinion if you're on Buprenorphine they're still using, but I'm of the opinion if that medication keeps someone sober, healthy, working, functioning, how is that medication any different than a medication you take for blood pressure every day?" said Dr. Dively.

Dively says research shows better outcomes for moms and babies using this medication. The baby may still be born addicted, but the withdrawal is much less than it would be with other substances.
Brittany's baby, Skylar, was born early but with no withdrawal symptoms. She is now five months old.

"She's healthy, she's here. I don't know what would've happened if I didn't go on that medicine," she said.

Brittany says she still has her tough days, but she's been sober for nine months.

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