In part one  of this series, we discussed some of the toxic effects that illicit drugs have on unborn babies in uetero when the pregnant women uses them. In this installment, we will continue the discussion with some other commonly used drugs.

It is important to reiterate that there is no safe drug to use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. If you require drugs or medications while pregnant, it is important that you discuss them with your OB/GYN who will recommend dosing based on risk versus benefit to both mother and child.


Methamphetamine passes easily from mother to unborn baby in utero. The dangerous effects are similar for baby as they are for mother and include increased heart rate, sleeplessness, muscle spasms, and tremors. When a mother uses methamphetamines during pregnancy, there is a high risk of miscarriage and placental abruption, which can be fatal to both mother and child. A fetus who is exposed to methamphetamines during pregnancy has a high likelihood of being born premature, underweight, and addicted to methamphetamines. Withdrawals are similar in a newborn as they are in an adult and include irritability, muscle spasms, and tremors, but also include feeding difficulty, uncontrollable crying, and an increased suck reflex. There is no amount of meth that is safe to use while pregnant. If you used before you knew you were pregnant, it is important to discontinue use as soon as possible and let your OB/GYN know that the fetus was exposed. If help is received early enough, the chances of having a healthy baby are increased dramatically. However, certain behavioral issues and addiction in adulthood have been linked to pre-birth meth exposure.

Prescription Drugs

When medications are prescribed, they are meant to be taken as instructed. When prescription drugs are misused or abused, they can be dangerous to both mother and unborn infant. Even when medications are prescribed and taken as instructed by the mother, it is important to let your physician know that you are pregnant. Many prescription medications are not safe to take while pregnant and your physician can prescribe an alternate dose or medication for the duration of pregnancy. If you misuse or abuse prescription medications of any kind, you should seek help as soon as possible. Addiction recovery is the safest solution for both mother and baby.

Prescription Narcotics

Prescription narcotics including codeine, fentanyl, hydrocodone, hydrocodone/acetaminophen, hydromorphone, meperidine, methadone are not safe to take during pregnancy and can negatively affect the fetus. These drugs are opioids and pregnant women who use them are at a higher risk of preterm labor, and babies are more at risk to be delivered stillborn. Unborn babies who have been exposed to narcotics and do survive to be born tend to have significant growth problems. Worse yet, opiates cross the placenta and will affect the baby in the same way it affects the mother. Even if these drugs are used by the mother as prescribed, it can cause the baby to be born addicted to opiates and suffer withdrawal symptoms the same as a grown addict. These withdrawal symptoms can be severe and life-threatening.

Over the Counter (OTC) Medications

Over the counter (OTC) medications are any drug or medication that you can buy without a prescription. These drugs are not above being misused or abused and just because they do not require a prescription does not mean that they are completely safe. For instance ibuprofen is a common pain reliever that is fetal toxic, meaning it is toxic to fetus and can cause severe physical damage or death. It is important that you talk to your OB/GYN about all drugs, medications, and supplements that you consume.

While you are pregnant, anything that you consume has the risk of being transferred to your unborn child. Drugs and medications affect fetuses differently and more intensely than they affect the mother. Illicit drugs can alter the development of the fetus and cause physical and mental defects and disorders. Many of the drugs discussed can cause fetal death or newborn addicts. Help protect your baby by getting the help that you need to overcome your addiction. If you are seeking drug addiction recovery options in Detroit, Metro Rehab can provide you with the life that you and your baby deserve. Contact us to learn about all of your rehab options today!