Become a member of Allies in Recovery and we’ll teach you how to intervene, communicate and guide your loved one toward treatment.Become a member of Allies in Recovery today.

She’s Addicted And Pregnant!

Allies in Recovery, AiR, Dominique Simon-Levine, dominique simon levine, addiction, addiction recovery, recovery, Craft, treatment, sobriety, family, treatment, sober, pregnant, hospital, Amazon cards, cash, drug money, SUD, seizure, substance use disorder, EMT, first responders, baby, pregnancy

An Allies member and mother is asking for help. She just discovered that her adult daughter, who struggles with various substances, is pregnant. While visiting Mom recently, her daughter suffered from two seizures and was taken to hospital. Her primary care physician still prescribes oxycontin, knowing full well she is pregnant. Now her daughter is asking for Amazon cards, which the mother suspects may be traded for cash to buy drugs. How can she help her daughter but not enable drug use?

This post originally appeared on our Member Site blog, where experts respond to members’ questions and concerns. To sign up for our special offer and benefit from the Allies in Recovery eLearning program, click here.


Dominique Simon-Levine lays out options for this very concerned mother

Your adult daughter had a seizure. You called an ambulance and because you insisted she be taken to the hospital, she was in a safe place when she had a second seizure. If it wasn’t for your sound judgment, this situation would have been far worse. I was just talking with a mom about how parents and other family members can become immune to what they observe in a loved one with SUD.  The person passes out or is acting irrationally and because the family member has seen it before, they don’t think much of it. Rather, they think the kid’s just passed out from alcohol or that the angry mood will pass.

We always counsel families to call in the first responders. Families are not experts. Let the EMT or the police determine the level of risk. Calling in the first responders also signals to the loved one that the situation is dangerous. The family is not going to cover it up by keeping it behind closed doors. One never knows if that trip to the emergency room or what a police officer says might strike a chord that will make a loved one think differently about the risks they take.

Once at the hospital, you learned your daughter was pregnant. It was perhaps only by chance that you learned this, since the staff at the hospital maintained your daughter’s confidentiality. It sounds like the hospital stabilized and released your daughter without addressing the danger she and her unborn baby are in if she continues to drink and use drugs while pregnant and not seek help.

Missed opportunities

This is immensely frustrating for a family member, especially when you are right there seeing it all play out. The hospital missed an important entry point for your daughter to get treatment. They also apparently missed an opportunity to talk with her about next steps and the danger she is in. Being pregnant opens all sorts of treatment options and specialty care. If you are in Massachusetts, you can learn about these by going to the Institute for Health and Recovery. They are national experts on mothers with addiction and their children. Talk to someone there even if you aren’t in Massachusetts. Also look into the Journey Recovery Project for pregnant moms struggling with substance use.

You question whether to give your daughter money to buy things for the baby. At this point, your daughter is not getting prenatal care and seems to have a primary care doctor who is willing to continue prescribing opiates and probably also benzodiazepines. CRAFT talks about stepping back when a loved one is using and removing anything that can be viewed as a reward. Amazon cards and any other gift cards can be sold on the street for part of their value in exchange for cash to buy drugs. New merchandise can be returned for cash. These are rewards of sorts. She is pushing your maternal button.

Pregnant and addicted: It’s time to focus on treatment

Learning Module 6, available on our member site, talks about putting everything else down and focusing on getting your loved one to enter treatment. Something like:

“I don’t have much money, but what I do have will go to getting you and the baby the help you both need. I love you. You are at a crossroads. What are you going to do to protect yourself and your baby from your addictions? It is time to choose the direction you want to go so I’ve got a list of places that specialize in helping young mothers with their pregnancies. I’m going to send it to you, since you may not want to see me since I’m not giving you an amazon card. Please take a look at it and I will do everything I can to help you get to these pregnancy services.”

I hope this helps light the way some as you are in a very difficult place with your daughter. I have heard from women in recovery time and again how having a child helped them stop their misuse of drugs and alcohol when doing so for themselves alone hadn’t worked. It may be hard to see, but your daughter’s pregnancy may be an opportunity that motivates her to seek help. I’m glad you wrote in.

Yes, the family DOES have a role to play. Your stance, behavior, and choices DO make a difference. At Allies in Recovery we are absolutely convinced of this. “Tough love” is not a successful technique. Our learning platform is set up to help family members learn the techniques that will reduce conflict, build that bridge of communication, and be effective in guiding your loved one into treatment. Together we will move your loved one towards recovery. Learn more here.


Related Posts from "CRAFT"

Trusting A Loved One in Early Recovery

Her husband is in early recovery, but he doesn’t want to share details with her. She’s nervous and struggling with trust due to his history of SUD and lying. She’s reluctant to let him come home, and unsure how to talk to him about it. Dominique weighs in with an idea of what to say based on the CRAFT (Community Reinforcement and Family Training) approach that we use at

How CRAFT Can Help: Supporting Your Partner to Successfully Moderate Opiate Use

His partner is trying to moderate her use of heroin and methamphetamine with no formal support. Her use consumes so much of his partner’s life that it’s hard to see her “moderation” as progress. But his loved one wants him to acknowledge how “well” she’s doing, and there hasn’t been room for more discussion. Read on for suggested strategies from to engage his partner into treatment, using the CRAFT (Community Reinforcement and Family Training) approach.

How to Use the CRAFT Approach to Communicate with a Loved One Living with Substance Use Disorder

Substance Use Disorder can often involve volatile emotions on all sides. When family members use the CRAFT approach that we teach at, it can help disentangle emotions from practicalities, leading to greater calm and more effective outcomes. This mom recently had an exchange with her son who is struggling with Substance Use Disorder (SUD), but held back from responding in fear it would end in a heated argument. So, she to turned to Allies for guidance. Read on for some pointers on how best to communicate with a loved one in active addiction using the CRAFT approach.

He’s on Suboxone and Hiding Away for Most of the Day. We are Worried.

Her son was using heroin, and he just got out of jail. He reached out for mom’s help and asked to live at home as he starts recovery, and he is getting MAT (Medication Assisted Treatment), specifically Suboxone. But he’s secluding himself so much at home she can’t tell what he’s up to. He’s accessing counseling and groups remotely, but he stays holed up in his room all the time and rarely emerges. Mom worries about his isolating so much and whether he might be using. We weigh in with some thoughts about the varied aspects of early recovery, and with some reminders about practicing CRAFT (Community Reinforcement and Family Training.)

Real Allies in Recovery Success Stories: Families Share How CRAFT Helped Their Loved Ones with SUD

Read real success stories from families who used the CRAFT approach to help their loved ones with Substance Use Disorder (SUD). Learn how CRAFT helped them engage their loved ones into treatment, and how it improved their relationships and reduced stress levels. Discover how you can use the CRAFT method to help your loved ones find recovery, and visit for more stories and resources.

How Do I Prepare for My Daughter with SUD to Come Home? And What About Her Boyfriend?

Her daughter is involved with a man who may be sabotaging her efforts to stop using substances. But she’s expressed some readiness to get help, and mom wants to support her in any way that she can. Mom’s working on ignoring the bad-news boyfriend while setting up guidelines for her return home. She needs guidance on the details…Allies in Recovery weighs in with some CRAFT-based tips.

Her Partner is Not Improving from Substance Use Disorder. Is There an Underlying Mental Health Condition?

One of our members as been artfully following the CRAFT principles and yet her loved one is not showing signs of improvement. Engaging in extreme behavior, barely ever sleeping, misusing his ADHD medication, lying, and now, stealing… Is it all on the addiction or could her partner suffer from an underlying, undiagnosed and untreated mental health condition?

Shall We Dance?

CRAFT as choreography? Our hosts step into the metaphor of a dance with your loved one. This isn’t a traditional dance – it’s a look at the steps to see what works and what doesn’t, to CRAFT a new dance and change your role. The idea is to learn new tools, practice them, and see where they fit in. Be patient. It’s a process.

The Important Difference Between Bribes, Incentives, and Positive Reinforcement

A mom wrote in asking for guidance on whether she should offer to reward her son for attending addiction recovery group meetings. However, she is unsure if she’s implementing the CRAFT concept of “rewards” correctly. Laurie MacDougall, an Allies in Recovery virtual program trainer – who herself has a loved one with SUD – explains the important differences between bribes, incentives, and positive reinforcement. Laurie advises steering away from the first two and sticking with positive reinforcement instead.