Research: Drug Addiction and Drugs Essay

Submitted By rsimmons0029
Words: 917
Pages: 4

The Use of Illegal Drugs throughout Pregnancy A women’s pregnancy can be one of the most enjoyable times of their life! Therefore, it is important for a woman to do everything that she is capable of in order to protect both herself and her unborn fetus throughout the duration of her pregnancy. Unfortunately, some women abuse this joyful time by using drugs, both illegal and prescription. Lawmakers are currently working hard to ensure every child has a successful future, whether or not they have a parent who abuses drugs. “Lawmakers believe it is child abuse when a mother is a drug-addict. The baby will require lots of medical and parental attention” (Schniderman and Hurwitz 18). The use of drugs such as heroin, cocaine, marijuana, and amphetamine throughout a woman’s pregnancy can cause various effects to the baby as well as the mother. Specific drugs have specific effects on both a women as well as a baby’s body. It is important to know information about the specific drugs that will affect a women’s pregnancy the most. “The use of such drugs as marijuana, amphetamines, cocaine, and heroin all adversely affect the fetus” (Johnson 4). Cocaine is produced from a coca plant, which is grown in South America; it can be snorted through the nose, injected into the vein or smoked (Shniderman and Hurwitz 16). The use of cocaine is common in urban areas due to it being one of the cheapest, habit forming drugs that are available. Marijuana, produced from Cannabis Sativa is known to consist of more cancer causing agents than a tobacco product. Also, another drug that is of particular harm to a women’s pregnancy is heroin. The drug, heroin, is widely known as a narcotic drug; it is originated from opium which is found in a particular poppy plant grown in Asia. Heroin causes a person to gain physical dependence, and the development of tolerance, which causes the person to feel like more and more of the drug is needed (Farnsworth 3). Often heroin is made into a white or brownish powder that is dissolved in water and then injected into the person (Shniderman and Hurwitz 20). Amphetamine is otherwise used mainly for the purpose of a stimulant. The side effects of the drug include causing the user to feel self-confident. The usage of cocaine, marijuana, heroin, and amphetamine all are proportionally related to problems during a women’s pregnancy and a baby’s life. Just as marijuana, amphetamines, cocaine, and heroin can all affect the user’s body they can also a developing fetus’ body. It is universally known that women who receive prenatal care have fewer complications of pregnancy and during birth and have healthier babies (Johnson 2). “By twelve weeks, the fetus is most vulnerable to potential teratogenic or birth-defect-inducing agents, such as drugs, radiation, and viruses” (Johnson, 1). As an adult it is crucial to avoid drugs, epically throughout pregnancy. If you are responsible enough to have a child of your own, you should be responsible enough to know the harmful effects of using drugs. Potential effects of drug use include restricting the proper oxygen supply to the baby due to the narrowing of blood vessels. “Decreased oxygen can cause a low birth weight and smaller-than-normal babies. These babies often have smaller-than-normal heads. A small head may not let a baby’s brain develop normally” (Shniderman and Hurwitz 17). “The first stage occurs within the first seventeen days of a baby’s life. A baby exposed to drugs during the first stage will most likely result in a miscarriage (when the fetus is expelled from the mother’s body