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The Dangers of Drug Use During Pregnancy

November is Child Safety and Protection Month, created to raise awareness concerning the dangers children face every day. The risks of drug use during pregnancy coincide, exposing the astounding fact that 12,175 children up to 19 years old die each year in the U.S. from unintentional injuries. Many of these deaths are preventable. Tobacco, alcohol, and drugs can harm anyone’s health, but the unborn remains hostage to the addicted mother. Drug use during pregnancy can impede the growth of the unborn child and hinder proper development. 

The Dangers of Drug Use During Pregnancy

Permanent consequences can occur for the unborn child with drug use during pregnancy. The medical community strives to educate pregnant women about the effects of drug and alcohol use during pregnancy. Unfortunately, addicted pregnant women grow overwhelmed with the addiction and ignore medical advice.

Tobacco products have labels to warn pregnant women of the long-term effects smoking can have on the unborn baby. Tobacco use increases the risk of low baby weight, miscarriage, stillbirth, preterm labor, and newborn death. Prescription drug use during pregnancy can be dangerous. Pregnant women need to alert the doctors of their pregnancy, so their medical providers can make adjustments if needed. Life in the womb is fragile. One should use restraint in taking over-the-counter medications and vitamins.

Caffeine is another controversial concern for pregnant women. Some studies suggest possible low birth weight, increased risk of miscarriage, and early delivery can result from caffeine use during pregnancy. Drug use during pregnancy includes caffeine, as the research is still inconclusive regarding the effects on unborn children. It is always wise to be cautious concerning the development of an unborn child.

Alcohol Consumption During Pregnancy

Pregnant women who use alcohol while pregnant are at risk for miscarriage, stillbirth, and newborn death. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) results in low birth weight, heart defects, facial defects, and learning problems for the child. While researchers agree that even one drink a day could affect the development of the fetus, there is no known safe limit for alcohol consumption during pregnancy. Drug use during pregnancy includes the consumption of alcohol. 

Marijuana Usage while Pregnant

Research has found premature birth, miscarriage, low birth weight, complicated or lengthy labor, and newborn jitteriness are effects of marijuana use in pregnancy. Drug use during pregnancy can have a long-term impact causing learning and attention deficits in children. Marijuana is never safe in any amount during pregnancy. Smoking marijuana can affect oxygen levels in the fetus. CBD, while legal to buy, should be avoided as well. Studies have proven the risk for children’s attentional regulation, visual-spatial abilities, and disruptive behavior. 

Cocaine Use In Pregnancy

Pregnant women using cocaine during pregnancy place their babies at risk of addiction. Cocaine is perhaps the most harmful drug known to the unborn child. Not only is the risk of miscarriage, bleeding, fetal death, and strokes some possibilities, brain damage, and death can occur. Cocaine use during pregnancy can cause the baby to be addicted. These infants are unable to comfort and can be irritable and jittery. These infants are at a greater risk than average for SIDS, sudden infant death syndrome

Heroin During Pregnancy

Mothers who use heroin during pregnancy have children who suffer from attention, memory, and behavior problems in the future. Hyperactivity is especially prevalent. Drug use during pregnancy is hazardous, with a high risk of overdose.


Decreased weight, length, and head size in fetuses as a result from mothers using speed during pregnancy. In addition, drug use during pregnancy is dangerous to both mother and baby. Babies born to mothers using methamphetamines during pregnancy were also more prone to strokes and bleeding in the brain. 

Long-Term Effects on Children

Drug use during pregnancy adversely affects brain development. Impairment of brain development due to drug use by the mother during pregnancy can affect the child mentally and physically. Drug affect physical growth, behaviors, cognition, intelligence, and language skills. The adversity depends on the substance the mother was using, the amount of the drug used, and the length of addiction.

Long-term disabilities can occur with behavioral issues, problem-solving abilities, academic achievement, emotional functioning, and the generational possibility of another addiction with the child. In addition, every form of drug use during pregnancy can cause delinquent behaviors and lower intelligence. As a result, many babies born to addicted mothers end up in foster care. Choosing to stop using during pregnancy makes for positive changes for the baby. Moreever, finding a positive, drug-free environment can also ensure the safety of your unborn child.

Find Detox Treatment for Drug and Alcohol Addiction During Pregnancy in California 

If you are pregnant and addicted to drugs or alcohol, the best possible solution is to contact us at Riviera Recovery in Los Angeles, CA. Our caring staff understands the reasons for addiction and the mental health issues that can co-occur with substance abuse disorders. Pregnancy complicates your addiction, and we all want the best for your unborn baby. Let our medical professionals assess you, and our treatment staff steer you on a recovery journey for both of you.

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