Pregnancy and Drugs

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Addiction Research Foundation "Little research has been done in humans into the effects of amphetamine use on pregnancy and fetal growth. Experiments with animals suggest, however, that use during pregnancy may produce adverse behavioral effects, such as hyperexcitability, in offspring. And among humans, several cases have been documented of withdrawal symptoms among newborn infants of mothers using amphetamines."
American Academy of Family Physicians HIV and pregnancy: What is the Risk to My Baby? This is related to substance abuse because the fact of sharing needles and other action people do while under the influence.
   
Boston University - Drugs and Pregnancy This web site discusses the effects caffeine and other drugs can have on pregnancy.
   
Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center's Overview of Alcohol-Related Problems "Alcohol, like most other drugs, passes easily through the mother's placenta and into the fetal bloodstream. In the fetus, the alcohol depresses the central nervous system and must be metabolized by the immature liver of the fetus, which cannot effectively process this toxic substance. The alcohol stays in the fetus's body for a prolonged time (even after leaving the mother's body) and the unborn child remains intoxicated, possibly suffering withdrawal symptoms after the alcohol is no longer present."
   

Drinking Alcohol During Pregnancy

"Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can cause physical and mental birth defects. Each year, more than 50,000 babies are born with some degree of alcohol-related damage. Although many women are aware that heavy drinking during pregnancy can cause birth defects, many do not realize that moderate-or even light-drinking also may harm the fetus."
HIV, Alcohol, and Other Drug Use "The implications of HIV transmission among drug users are profound. In Canada as in many other countries, the heterosexual transmission of HIV is in part fed by the epidemic among injection drug users. The gravity of the situation is made more apparent by consideration of the fact that the majority of injection drug users have non-injecting sexual partners. In addition, women with HIV infection due to drug use or sexual activity with an injection drug user are at risk of bearing HIV infected children."
   
Medical Reporter "One in five pregnant women surveyed in 1991 said she smoked cigarettes, reports the CDC Office on Smoking and Health, Atlanta. Smoking during pregnancy is associated with low birth rate, high rates of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome), behavior problems, and learning difficulties. Further, children whose mothers smoke cigarettes during pregnancy had significantly lower IQ scores, according to a study conducted by Cornell University and the University of Rochester. The explanation: smoking apparently reduces the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the fetus."
Missouri Department of Mental Health - Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse: "Some research studies suggest that the use of marijuana during pregnancy may result in premature babies and in low birth weights. Studies of men and women may have a temporary loss of fertility. These findings suggest that marijuana may be especially harmful during adolescence, a period of rapid physical and sexual development."
   
NOAH - Cocaine Use During Pregnancy "Cocaine can affect a pregnant woman and her unborn baby in many ways. During the early months of pregnancy, it can cause a miscarriage. When the drug is used late in pregnancy, it may trigger premature labor. It also may cause an unborn baby to die or to have a stroke, which can result in irreversible brain damage."