Commonly Abused Drugs During Pregnancy
Next, let’s take a look at the other common substances abused during pregnancy and why they are harmful. Pregnant women should avoid substances like marijuana, cocaine, and opioids at all costs, and below, you will learn why.
“Weed is pretty harmless. Can I continue to use that?” This is a common question. Marijuana, regardless of the method of use, is far from harmless. Marijuana also poses a variety of health risks for pregnant women, including:
- Preterm labor
- Low birth weight
- Adverse effects on the developing brainThe risks associated with marijuana use do not stop for the developing fetus; they can carry into adolescence. Some of those risks are:
- Behavioral problems
- Academic problems
- Reduced attention span and ability to focus
Cocaine and other stimulants like meth, Adderall, and Ritalin can have devastating effects on pregnancy as well if abused. According to the NIH, these effects include:
- Premature rupture of membranes
- Placental abruption, where the placenta prematurely separates from the uterus
- Preterm birth
- Low birth weight
- The use of meth also poses very similar risks, with the most severe being the infant’s death.
Opioid use has many of the same risks as a stimulant, marijuana, and alcohol consumption. What makes opioid use especially heartbreaking is the risks of neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS).
To put it simply, NAS puts the fetus through withdrawal symptoms following delivery. According to the NIH, NAS symptoms include feeding difficulties, tremors, loose stool, seizures, and respiratory distress.
No mother wants their child to go through those things. Unfortunately, addiction does not often give mothers a choice, and the urge to use overpowers them.
Learning how to safely detox while pregnant can be a matter of life, or begin a prescription of monitored Medication Assisted Treatment can help you prevent your new baby from going through this difficult situation.