The Dangers of First Trimester Drug Use

first trimester drug use

If you are pregnant or hoping to be and want to give birth to a healthy baby, it’s vital to avoid drug use – not only during your first trimester, but throughout your pregnancy. Even substances you might view as harmless, like caffeine, can have lasting effects on an unborn child.

How Does First Trimester Drug Use Affect You and Your Baby?

Drugs like marijuana and cocaine pass from the mother’s bloodstream through the placenta to the fetus. The same substances that lead to drug dependence and addiction in adults also cause unborn babies to become addicted. Some newborns born to drug-abusing mothers show significant signs of withdrawal, such as restlessness, excessive crying and trouble sleeping.

Other dangers of first trimester drug use for mothers and babies include the following:

  • Cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks and strokes
  • Seizures
  • Congenital heart defects
  • Respiratory failure
  • Low birth weight
  • Increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome
  • Miscarriage or stillbirth
  • Birth defects
  • Cognitive and behavioral problems in the baby
  • Feeding difficulties

Some studies suggest that babies born to women who use substances such as cocaine, alcohol or tobacco in the first trimester or throughout their pregnancies may have brain structure changes that persist into early adolescence. These problems can affect a growing child’s academic career and overall success in life.

What About Medications?

Because it is unethical to test drugs on pregnant people, it’s hard to predict the effects of prescription or over-the-counter medications during the first trimester and beyond. However, the FDA has published guidelines for drug companies to follow in labeling medications about their effect on pregnancy and developing babies.

By reading the product information, you can learn more about how the medication may affect your pregnancy. You can also talk with your OB/GYN if you are taking drugs to manage a chronic condition such as asthma, epilepsy or depression.

Gender-Responsive Drug Treatment

Women who stop taking drugs in their first trimester will dramatically increase their chances of delivering a healthy baby. However, you’ll find that’s easier said than done if you have consistently used drugs and are now dependent on them. If you lack a support system, the resulting withdrawal symptoms and cravings can become overwhelming and lead you to relapse. That’s why you should consider seeking professional help.

Anyone who has struggled with a substance abuse problem can benefit from a compassionate, judgment-free treatment environment. Women who crave connection and friendship will find these things and more at Canyon Crossing. Our gender-responsive approach combines proven therapeutic methods with a philosophy of allowing women to live more gracefully on their terms.

For more information about the treatments we offer or to verify your health insurance coverage, please contact us to learn how we can guide you to a fulfilling, substance-free lifestyle.

Benefits of Residential AddictionTreatment

You cannot heal in the same environment that made you sick. This is the philosophy behind our residential addiction treatment program. At Canyon Crossing, women learn to live life on life’s terms while staying in a safe, substance-free setting. This gives our clients the space and peace needed for lasting recovery.
Our residential program combines high-accountability sober living arrangements with first-rate clinical care. While staying in our homes, clients participate in process groups, one-on-one counseling sessions, and hands-on learning opportunities. They also receive ongoing training; in these meetings, life skills like financial management and conflict resolution are imparted. All of this happens with 24/7 encouragement, guidance, and supervision from our clinical team.
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