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Meth Addiction Resource Center

  • Mar
    13

    Meth Abuse During Pregnancy

    Using Methamphetamines While Pregnant

    The use and misuse of methamphetamines today is a problem throughout the United States. People of all ages abuse methamphetamines and because meth is potentially addictive, thousands are in need of treatment for their addiction. Crystal meth is another form of methamphetamine that's commonly preferred by many people. Young women abuse crystal meth quite often and find themselves while actively using meth getting pregnant.

    Young women aren't the only ones abusing methamphetamines during pregnancy. Meth addiction is very powerful and if use is habitual or chronic, professional treatment is necessary for most people in order to successfully recover. Meth takes a major toll on the user and there are very serious mental and physical risks involved with abusing stimulants like methamphetamines.

    Methamphetamine exposure to the fetus in the United States is a pretty big problem and because of research, we know a little more about fetal exposure to meth. This can cause babies to weigh less than they should when they're born even full term babies. When a baby is exposed to methamphetamine during pregnancy it's very common for the baby to be born prematurely.

    If a mother no matter what her age abuses meth during pregnancy, there are very serious and dangerous affects to the baby during pregnancy and after their birth. The baby's development is highly at risk. This includes the babies:


    • Brain
    • Spinal cord
    • Heart
    • Kidneys
     

    Chronic abuse of methamphetamines during pregnancy can also cause:


    1. Premature delivery
    2. Birth deformities
    3. Strokes or hemorrhages in the brain if the baby's blood pressure was to rise abruptly due to high doses of methamphetamine.
    4. Learning disabilities
    5. A delay in growth and development
    6. Intestinal problems
    7. Gastroschisis, this is when the baby is born with a hole in their abdomen, the intestines are on the outside of their body.
    8. Skeletal defects (some babies have been born missing parts of their legs or arms; club-foot is another skeletal defect.
    9. Babies may experience problems with their sleeping patterns
    10. Irritability
    11. Problems swallowing and sucking
    12. Some babies have problems tolerating stimuli, this means with touch and light.
    13. Some babies have tremors and experience problems with coordination.
    14. Possible congenital heart defects
    15. Placenta problems

    Sadly babies that have been subjected to methamphetamines during pregnancy, especially if meth was abused chronically could suffer effects for a very long time. By the time the child is of age to attend school they are likely to:


    1. Be hyperactive
    2. To have ADD
    3. To have learning disabilities
    4. To experience fits of anger for no reason

    According to the Children's Bureau children who are exposed to drugs either during pregnancy or right after birth are likely to have educational and developmental problems. There is a big chance they can show signs of depression and anxiety, suffer from psychiatric illness, have behavior problems, score low on school achievement tests, and have other problems in school.

    After a baby is delivered if they were exposed to methamphetamines during pregnancy some do experience withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms include; jitteriness, respiratory problems, and drowsiness.

    If you are dependent on methamphetamines and become pregnant, it's important for you to seek medical help immediately. Be honest with your doctor about your use of meth and seek necessary help such as substance abuse treatment, counseling or therapy, or 12 step group therapy to help you with recovery.




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