In spite of the fact that they know they are pregnant, more and more women are abusing
drugs. Toxic substances can enter the fetus's bloodstream through the umbilical cord, causing
long-term health issues and leaving the baby in a state of withdrawal when it is born. In order to
help the mother understand the dangers of drug abuse during pregnancy, it is important to
educate her on the best ways to reduce the number of drugs she is exposed to while pregnant
(Hansson et al., 2020, p.102855). Substance abuse affects the mother and the fetus in terms of
physical and emotional health, and it often results in the loss of meaningful social relationships.
Women's social and emotional well-being can suffer if they abuse drugs or alcohol during
their pregnancy. It can harm her ability to be a good parent, spouse, and friend. Pregnant women
abusing illicit substances like cocaine, marijuana, alcohol, tobacco, and heroin tend to isolate
themselves from their families and seek out other users. They may spend most of their time
getting high. As a result of long-term drug use, she has difficulty relating to her loved ones and
cannot express her emotions (Wells, 2009, pp.345-362). If the mother's stress levels are too high,
it could harm the fetus' development and well-being. Addiction to drugs can lead to mental
health issues such as depression, stress, and anxiety.
Stress hormones emitted by the mother may affect the baby's blood flow. Stress can also
impact the diet and sleep habits of the expectant mother. Toxic effects on pregnant women can
lead to miscarriage, fetal death, congenital disabilities, and even maternal death if they become
dependent on such drugs during pregnancy. A well-educated and informed mother is essential to
reducing or even preventing substance abuse during pregnancy. Educating expectant mothers
about the dangers of substance abuse can be done in many ways (Auger et al., 201, pp.133-138).
A nurse can assist a patient cope with their situation by involving their family in the treatment
Risks Involved 3
and encouraging them to seek help if they refuse. The nurse may also educate the patient on what
to expect from the treatment and how they can help.
They will be there for their loved ones throughout the treatment process, but especially
during the withdrawal stage, which can be particularly trying for patients. A nurse can address
pregnancy complications such as fetal death and postpartum drug withdrawal by providing
information about drug use's adverse psychological and physical effects on the expectant mother.
The nurse can teach the patient stress-reduction techniques, such as deep breathing and yoga, to
help her cope with the stress of substance use (Chomitz et al., 1995, pp.121-138). To help the
patient maintain a drug-free lifestyle for the long term, the nurse can also educate her about
treatment options like counseling and group therapy.
The postpartum nurse has the opportunity to inform the patient about the dangers of
breastfeeding while using illegal substances. There are many things that a nurse can do to help a
mother understand the effects of using substances while lactating and on their child.
Breastfeeding should not be attempted by anyone who has used illegal drugs, as the drugs can be
excreted into the milk and hurt the baby's health. Improper feeding habits, sedation, and
tachycardia can result from the consumption of illicit drugs in the mother's breastmilk. The nurse
has the authority to provide the mother with the following advice: You can either stop taking the
medication or don't breastfeed at all.
Substance Abuse's impact on a Woman's Pregnancy
In some cases, drug use may not result in significant or long-term consequences.
Nonetheless, a fetus is not always the same. "Drug babies" are born to mothers who use drugs.
Many of the children in this group are still in the maturation process. According to research, drug
use during pregnancy, whether legal or illegal, directly affects the fetus. So does the baby if
Risks Involved 4
you're pregnant and you've been smoking, drinking, or taking in caffeine. During pregnancy,
your fetus is also exposed to drugs like marijuana and crystal meth (Olds et al., 1998, pp.1238-
1244). For pregnant women addicted to cocaine (also known as "coke," "snow," "blow," etc.),
their unborn child's health is in jeopardy as well. Cocaine can result to heart attacks, respiratory
failure, strokes, and seizures, among other things. Unborn children can be affected by these
potentially fatal health conditions as well.
Congenital disabilities, premature births, underweight babies, and stillbirths can all result
from taking drugs during pregnancy. Smoking weed, ganja, dope, or pot before birth has been
linked to behavioral issues in children as young as three years old (Grant et al., 2014, pp.11-18).
Memory and attention can also be affected by taking these drugs. Studies have shown that kids
born to mothers who used cocaine during pregnancy may have long-lasting changes in their brain
structure. Even though the effects of cocaine on an adult are often short-lived, their effects on an
unborn child can last a lifetime. Women who use crack cocaine while pregnant usually give birth
to "crack babies," who usually suffer from various physical and mental health issues. Prenatal
exposure to cocaine can have a long-term impact on a child's development, according to the
National Institute on Drug Abuse (Frank et al., 1988, pp.888-895). Deficiencies in cognitive
performance, information processing, and attention to tasks tend to be found in people with
autism. In both school and life, these are critical areas.
Strategies that social workers should implement to protect a newly born child.
Information is being disseminated to raise awareness and change perceptions regarding mothers'
harmful substance use and misuse. Prevention education teaches them essential life skills and
social abilities to prevent drug misuse in children and adolescents. Instead of drug-related
Risks Involved 5
activities, alternative methods presume that kids who engage in drug-free activities will meet
critical developmental requirements.
Youth who have already experimented with or acquired substance use disorders must be
identified and referred to suitable treatment alternatives to avoid further harm. Teens with a
history of substance abuse should pay particular attention, especially mothers with newborns
(Marotz, 2014). Building inter-agency coalitions and providing community individuals and
organizations with drug abuse education and prevention training are just two examples of how a
community-based method may improve community resources' engagement in substance misuse
prevention. Adopting policies that diminish and enhance protective factors connected to drug
misuse, such as limiting alcohol and cigarette advertising near schools, is one example of an
environmental strategy (Stokley et al., 2014, p.620).
By focusing on the following, teachers in schools may help protect future births (Gehre &
Help students realize the internal and environmental forces, such as worry
and tension, that drive them to use alcohol, cigarettes, and other drugs; this includes the
effect of peer attitudes and advertising.
Resist these demands by strengthening your personal, social, and rejection
Teaching children that using alcohol, cigarettes, and other illegal
substances is not the norm among teens, even if they assume that "everyone is doing it,"
Risks Involved 6
In addition to providing information on the short-term and long-term
dangers of alcohol, cigarettes, and other substances, we provide developmentally
appropriate materials and activities.
They employ role-plays, conversations, brainstorming, and cooperative
learning to educate students.
A minimum of ten sessions a year is required, with a minimum of three to
five booster sessions in the following two years.
Engage the family and the community in the process.
Pupils will benefit from materials that are simple to adopt by instructors
and culturally appropriate for their students.
Toxic substances can enter the fetus's bloodstream through the umbilical cord, causing
long-term health issues. Substance abuse affects the mother and the fetus in terms of physical
and emotional health. A well-educated and informed mother is essential to reducing or even
preventing substance abuse during pregnancy. The postpartum nurse has the authority to help a
mother understand the effects of using substances while lactating and on their child. Pregnancy
complications can be addressed by providing information about drug use's adverse psychological
and physical effects on the expectant mother. Breastfeeding should not be attempted by anyone
who has used illegal drugs.
Teaching teens about the dangers of alcohol, cigarettes, and other substances can help
protect them from harm in the future when they become mothers. Alternative methods include
role-plays, conversations, brainstorming, and cooperative learning. Community-based
Risks Involved 7
approaches to substance misuse prevention are just two examples of how a community-based
method may improve engagement (Chanana and Bala, 2011).
Risks Involved 8
Auger, N., Goudie, C., Low, N., Healy-Profitós, J., Lo, E. and Luu, T.M., 2019. Maternal use of
illicit drugs, tobacco or alcohol and the risk of childhood cancer before 6 years of
age. Drug and alcohol dependence, 200, pp.133-138.
Chanana, A. and Bala, R., 2011. Concealment of Birth of an Identified New Born Child a Case
Chomitz, V.R., Cheung, L.W. and Lieberman, E., 1995. The role of lifestyle in preventing low
birth weight. The future of children, pp.121-138.
Frank, D.A., Zuckerman, B.S., Amaro, H., Aboagye, K., Bauchner, H., Cabral, H., Fried, L.,
Hingson, R., Kayne, H., Levenson, S.M. and Parker, S., 1988. Cocaine use during
pregnancy: prevalence and correlates. Pediatrics, 82(6), pp.888-895.
Gehre, C. and Schindler, V., 2005. Development of the numerical model of the newborn child
dummy q0. Technical University of Berlin, Germany.
Grant, T., Graham, J.C., Ernst, C.C., Peavy, K.M. and Brown, N.N., 2014. Improving pregnancy
outcomes among high-risk mothers who abuse alcohol and drugs: Factors associated with
subsequent exposed births. Children and Youth Services Review, 46, pp.11-18.
Hansson, L., Wrigstad, J. and Wangel, A.M., 2020. Challenges in the handover process of the
newborn with congenital heart disease. Intensive and Critical Care Nursing, 59,
Marotz, L.R., 2014. Health, safety, and nutrition for the young child. Cengage Learning.
Olds, D., Henderson Jr, C.R., Cole, R., Eckenrode, J., Kitzman, H., Luckey, D., Pettitt, L.,
Sidora, K., Morris, P. and Powers, J., 1998. Long-term effects of nurse home visitation
Risks Involved 9
on children's criminal and antisocial behavior: 15-year follow-up of a randomized
controlled trial. Jama, 280(14), pp.1238-1244.
Stokley, S., Jeyarajah, J., Yankey, D., Cano, M., Gee, J., Roark, J., Curtis, C.R. and Markowitz,
L., 2014. Human papillomavirus vaccination coverage among adolescents, 2007–2013,
and post licensure vaccine safety monitoring, 2006–2014—United States. MMWR.
Morbidity and mortality weekly report, 63(29), p.620.
Wells, K., 2009. Substance abuse and child maltreatment. Pediatric