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Is Drug and Alcohol use During Pregnancy Harmful?

Is Drug and Alcohol use During Pregnancy Harmful?

Drug and alcohol abuse causes a physical dependency and is harmful to a person’s physical, mental, and emotional health. Substance abuse can result in brain damage, liver failure, heart attack, overdose, and death. Using drugs while pregnant causes serious birth defects, developmental delays, and sudden death for the baby. Drug and alcohol use in pregnancy can lead to a child’s physical abnormalities, behavioral problems, and neurological problems.

A mother who actively used drugs or alcohol during pregnancy will give birth to a baby addicted to drugs or alcohol. The baby will experience painful withdrawal symptoms from the absence of toxins received before birth. The umbilical cord and placenta act as a lifeline for the unborn baby. Everything the mother eats and drinks passes through the lifeline to the unborn baby. Unfortunately, drugs and alcohol pass on to the unborn baby and affect growth and development. Drug and alcohol abuse while pregnant results in premature birth, miscarriage, or stillbirth.

Drug and alcohol use will cause low birth weight, neurological complications, an abnormally small head, and cleft palate. The substances absorbed prenatally cause behavioral problems and learning impairments during a child’s development. Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is a result of prenatal exposure to alcohol and causes social, emotional, and cognitive problems as the child grows. Children born with FAS can have psychiatric issues or mental retardation.

Using drugs while pregnant can have devastating effects on the mother and her baby. The baby develops an addiction to the substance the mother is using. The baby’s severe withdrawals start immediately after birth. The baby might cry inconsolably, have difficulty sleeping and eating, produce loose stools, vomit, or go into convulsions.

A mother with a drug or alcohol addiction can feel ashamed, lonely, and helpless. She could have depression, anxiety, or other mental health problems. Addiction to drugs or alcohol is hard to overcome but is treatable. Encouragement, support, and positive reinforcement from family and friends will help make the treatment process a lot easier. Pregnant women should not feel isolated. There are treatment programs that can be life-saving for the mother and her baby.

The Center for Professional Recovery offers the Professional Treatment Program, designed specifically to address the unique needs of professionals, like first-responders. Our programs are designed to treat co-occurring disorders which might arise and restore first-responders in a way which allows them to return to work and continue taking care of their mental health. For information on our full continuum of care for professionals, call us today: (855) 422-4129

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