Why is substance abuse harmful?

Learn about the negative effects it can have on infants.

Complications with drug abuse on infants.

Being pregnant with your unborn child you should always, ALWAYS get your prenatal care. Smoking, drinking, putting anything harmful into your body can have serious consequences not only to yourself, but to the baby also.

Infants that are reported to have any sort of substance abuse while being in the womb are at risk for having prematurity, low birth weight, and impaired physical developments.

Depending on what type of drug the parent is on has a lot to do with other complications that can happen to infants.

Others may include twitching, constantly pulling and tugging on their face, and with malnutrition comes flabby skin.

Milligan, K., Niccols, A., Sword, W., Thabane, L., Henderson, J., & Smith, A. (2011). Birth outcomes for infants born to women participating in integrated substance abuse treatment programs: A meta-analytic review. Addiction Research & Theory, 19(6), 542-555. doi:10.3109/16066359.2010.545153


There are many disorders and syndromes that come with abusing alcohol.

1. Fetal alcohol syndrome: slow physical growth; and facial abnormalities

2. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder: a range of physical, mental, and behavioral outcomes caused by prenatal alcohol exposure.

3. Partial fetal alcohol syndrome: brain injury and impaired functioning. Mothers of thee children usually drank alcohol in smaller quantities and depending on timing and length of exposure will determine the consequences to come.

4. Alcohol related neurodevelopmental disorder: three areas of mental functioning are impaired, despite typical physical growth and absence of facial abnormalities.

As you can see it's not a very smart idea to being exposed with any sort of alcohol abuse while being pregnant, or with any sites that you may be pregnant.

Drug abuse

Abusing cocaine, heroine, and methadone are proven to be obtained by more people in poverty stricken areas. These drugs cause the babies to have a fierce shrill and piercing cry. They will have a lot of trouble sleeping and will be difficult to calm the baby while feeding them.

Marijuana is the most widely used drug while being pregnant. The common effects or low birth weight and prematurity reveal mixed findings. Researchers have also found that abuse of marijuana has been linked to smaller head size, sleep deprivation, attention and memory difficulties starting early childhood.

As stated with alcohol. Stay away while being pregnant, it's actually smarter to stay away from illegal drugs period.

Factual information about prenatal care.

Since the early 1900's, there has been an increase in the rate of substance abuse in women.

According to the 2002-2003 National Survey on Drug Abuse and Health in the United States they indicated that 4.3% of pregnant women aged 15-44 reported that drug use one month prior to having their child are at high risk for having birth defects and permanent brain damage.

Nearly 4% of US pregnant women take cocaine methadone, and heroin while being pregnant.

How can I get help?

There are programs that integrate on site pregnancy, parenting, or child related services with substance use treatment. These programs have been developed to address these risks and the unique needs of pregnant women who have abused certain substances.
Struggles of Drug Addicted Babies

Periods of prenatal development and different consequences leading to birth.

Each organ or structure has a sensitive period, during which it's development may be disturbed.

Dividing the zygote and implantation: prenatal death

Embryonic period: major structural abnormalities (heart, eyes, ears, teeth, arms, and legs)

Fetal period: physiological defects and minor structural abnormalities