The Long-Term Effects of Drug Abuse on Pregnant Women

The Long-Term Effects of Drug Abuse on Pregnant Women
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If you are pregnant or about to, and you want a healthy baby, then it is very important you avoid drug use and its abuse. Drug abuse during pregnancy has its long-term effect on you and the baby. Drugs such as cocaine, marijuana or methamphetamine are not the only drugs that are harmful to you and your unborn child during pregnancy. Over the counter drugs such as caffeine, un-prescribed medications, and alcohol can have fetal harmful development to your unborn child.

As an adult, it is possible that you will not have any long-term drug effects, but that cannot be said of your unborn baby. Drug-using mothers tend to give birth to ‘drug babies’ with various developmental issues.


Using drugs (whether legal or illegal) during pregnancy has a direct effect on the pregnancy.  When you smoke, drink alcohol or ingest drugs into your blood system, your baby is also impacted by these drugs. If you use marijuana or crystal meth, your unborn child also feels the impact of these dangerous drugs. Drug abuse does not only put your health in danger but also the health of your unborn baby. The effect of drug abuse such as seizures, respiratory failure, strokes and heart attack can also be passed on to your unborn baby.


Drug abuse during pregnancy also increases your risk of birth defect, premature babies, and stillbirths. Exposing your unborn baby to marijuana, dope and alcohol have been proven to cause behavioral problems to the growing child. These drugs can also deplete a Childs memory and attentiveness. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, ‘babies born to women who take cocaine, alcohol or tobacco during pregnancy may have brain damage and physical disabilities that persist into adulthood.’


Drugs with the Most Effect on Pregnancy



Babies exposed to cocaine tend to develop lower IQ. They also have a higher risk of birth defects that often affect the urinary tract. Taking Cocaine during pregnancy may also cause stroke and brain damage to the unborn kid


Methamphetamine also called Tina

This increases the risk of miscarriage in early pregnancy. This drug can cause low birth weight in babies and also cause feeding difficulties.



Abuse of Marijuana during pregnancy increases the risk for premature birth. And even after birth, babies born under the exposure of Marijuana undergo withdrawal syndrome with excessive crying and disturbance.


Smoking Pot:     This drug may cause a developmental problem in the fetus.



Caffeine is legal and can be found in most foods such as chocolate, coffee, and soda, but caffeine is still a drug and should be avoided during pregnancy. In 1980 the FDA released a research study that shows caffeine had a toxic effect on pregnant women. If you need caffeine, only if you need it, you should regulate it. It can cause low birth weight and birth defect if taken in large quantity.


Can Prescribed Drugs Be Abused?


Yes, it can be abused, and the effect on pregnancy is substantial. Over-the-counter drugs need to be monitored because since it is unethical to test drugs on pregnant women, the effect of most OTC drugs on pregnant women is still not fully known. You might have the need to take drugs during pregnancy. You might need these drugs for pain, cold or flu. In this case, it is advised you consult your doctor before taking OTC drugs


What of Smoking?

According to the Center for Disease Control, smoking during pregnancy causes severe heart defects including a septal defect in the baby. Most infants with heart defects (congenital) die in their first 12 months of life and those babies that survive often face lengthy medical checkups and surgery. When you smoke during pregnancy, you are likely to have a placenta-associated problem. This is a serious concern because the placenta serves as a nourishment basket to the unborn baby; also, smoking during pregnancy is one of the causes of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).


What of Drinking Alcohol?

Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is a range of disorder mostly caused by excess consumption of during pregnancy. FAS can cause abnormal facial features, developmental deficiency, and problems with the child’s nervous system. Drinking Alcohol during pregnancy can also cause learning disabilities, impaired vision, and hearing.



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