Illegal and Recreational Drugs During Pregnancy
What you need to know and how to get help
Any person who inhales solvents or glues during pregnancy puts themselves at great risk and possibly even death. The March of Dimes warns that abusing these substances during pregnancy can contribute to miscarriage, slow fetal growth, preterm labor, and congenital anomalies, not to mention serious damage to the mother’s liver, kidney, and brain.
One of the biggest problems in studying the effects of marijuana on babies is that most users use other substances that can hurt their babies, such as nicotine, cocaine, LSD, and alcohol. Scientists do know, however, that THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), the active ingredient in marijuana, crosses the placenta and affects the developing baby.
Studies show that marijuana use during pregnancy can shorten the length of pregnancy, negatively influences the quality and duration of labor, impairs fetal growth, and may contribute to congenital defects in the newborn.
According to the March of Dimes, some babies who were regularly exposed to marijuana during pregnancy experience withdrawal-like symptoms after birth (for example, crying and trembling excessively).
The March of Dimes also reports that children exposed to marijuana in the womb may have problems paying attention later in life.
When the prescription opioid (related to morphine) painkiller, called pentazocine, is mixed with an over-the-counter allergy medicine, “T’s and Blues” is created. This deadly mix of drugs is often injected by users into a vein. “Babies of women who use T’s and Blues during pregnancy are at increased risk of slow growth and may suffer withdrawal symptoms,” reports the March of Dimes.
Babies of women who abuse prescription oral opioid painkillers such as oxycodone (OxyContin) also may undergo withdrawal.
If you’re suffering from drug addition to these or other substances, please seek suppport. The following contacts can help in your recovery:
- National Drug Help Hotline: (800) 662-4357
- National Alcohol and Drug Dependence Hopeline: (800) 622-2255
- National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD): (800) 622-2255
- Substance Abuse Treatment Facility Locator: (800) 662-4357
- Narcotics Anonymous: (818) 773-9999
- Alcoholics Anonymous
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