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Cocaine and Pregnancy

Drug use always comes with risks, including short and long-term health problems, overdose, addiction, and death. When you take cocaine during pregnancy, there is a chance of serious harm not only to yourself but to your unborn child.

Cocaine use during pregnancy comes with an increased risk of stillbirth as well as other health issues. For this reason, it is in both your and your unborn child’s best interest to stop all substance use.

However, you should not cease cocaine by going cold turkey, as doing so can have dangerous side effects. Instead, you should seek professional help and treatment for drug use through a rehab center where you will start a detoxification process to rid your body of all substance traces.

We understand how daunting asking for help during this difficult time can be, but we are here to support you. Don’t hesitate to call us today for confidential advice about starting addiction treatment.

What Is Cocaine?

Cocaine is a Schedule II street drug with a high potential for harm and addiction. It is derived from the leaves of two coca plant species native to South America.

Though initially used for medical purposes as a local anesthetic and analgesic, today, cocaine is bought for recreational purposes. Cocaine usually looks like a fine white powder and has a bitter chemical taste, although it can be other colors depending on how it is made and what it is cut with. ‘Cutting’ occurs when a person bulks out cocaine supply with other substances for profit.

Common cutting substances include prescription painkillers, caffeine, baking soda, and benzos. Certain cutting agents such as opioids increase the risk of accidental overdose. As cocaine is unregulated, you can never be sure what exactly you are using, making it all the more dangerous.

What Are the Dangers of Cocaine?

Cocaine is usually smoked, snorted, injected, or rubbed into the gums. Sometimes cocaine presents in crystal form, known as crack cocaine, which is generally smoked. All forms of cocaine administration are harmful to your health.

Possible short-term adverse effects of cocaine include heart attacks, strokes, seizures, and overdose. Injury and death can also occur from risky behavior due to cocaine making you feel invincible and overconfident. It is extremely dangerous to mix with alcohol as this can cause an overdose.

Cocaine abuse comes with long-term health problems such as:

  • Addiction
  • Liver and kidney problems
  • Cardiovascular issues including heart attacks and strokes
  • Respiratory problems when cocaine is smoked
  • Chronic nose bleeds and risk of a perforated septum when cocaine is snorted
  • HIV, AIDS, and hepatitis when cocaine is administered intravenously
  • Blood infections
  • Brain injury

If you are worried about any potential side effects to your health, it is never too late to talk to someone about your cocaine use and get your life back on track.

What Does Cocaine Addiction Look Like?

If you have taken cocaine, you may have an addiction. Addiction, or substance use disorder (SUD), is a brain disease that is difficult to overcome without professional help. Signs of cocaine addiction include:

  • A tolerance to cocaine
  • Withdrawal symptoms if you stop using for even a short period
  • An inability to stop using cocaine despite adverse effects on your health and well-being
  • Obsessions over getting your next fix
  • Secretive behavior and lying to hide your drug problem
  • Withdrawal from family and friends due to drug use
  • Poor performance at school or work due to cocaine use
  • Risky behavior such as driving under the influence
  • Exacerbated existing mental health problems
  • Poor hygiene and self-care

Fortunately, cocaine addiction is treatable. Many people enjoy a long and successful recovery with the right treatment and ongoing support. The hardest step is often admitting you have a problem. Please don’t suffer in silence; talk to us today and start your addiction treatment.

How Does Cocaine Affect the Central Nervous System?

A powerful stimulant (or upper), cocaine affects the central nervous system by speeding up messages sent between the brain and body. Like adrenaline, cocaine affects the cardiovascular system, causing high blood pressure, rapid heart rate, and fast breathing.

People usually take cocaine because of how it makes them feel. Cocaine typically brings a false sense of well-being. Cocaine also makes a user feel:

  • Euphoric
  • Energetic
  • Alert
  • Confident

Cocaine has rapid onset effects that wear off quickly. After which, more cocaine is needed to sustain the desired euphoric high. The brain’s reward pathways adapt to this hit of dopamine and begin to crave cocaine at all costs. This is how addiction occurs. Essentially, it becomes a compulsion.

Cocaine can also induce:

  • Irritability
  • Paranoia
  • Anxiety

There are many adverse consequences to cocaine use, especially if you are pregnant. Taking cocaine is never worth it.

Many people take cocaine to mask negative feelings such as depression and anxiety. As a result, substance abuse disorders such as drug or alcohol abuse and mental health disorders are often co-occurring. Mental health issues should be taken care of appropriately by healthcare professionals.

What Are the Effects of Prenatal Cocaine Exposure?

The effects of prenatal cocaine exposure have long been recognized, and you should be advised on the risks during prenatal care. Many mothers with addiction avoid prenatal checkups, but it is important that you attend, as cocaine use in pregnancy can have devastating consequences to both you and your baby.

Placental Abruption

One of the most significant risks for pregnant women is placental abruption, which occurs when the placenta separates from the uterus. A serious condition, this is very dangerous for mother and baby. Placental abruption can sadly lead to pregnancy complications such as:

  • Heavy bleeding which can cause a hemorrhage
  • Premature birth (before 37 weeks) resulting in low birth weight
  • Miscarriage
  • Stillbirth

Maternal cocaine use can harm fetal development, especially during early pregnancy. Traces of the drug can actually be found in the umbilical cord, urine, meconium, and hair of exposed newborns. This is because cocaine crosses the placental barrier during gestation and enters the baby via amniotic fluid.

Risks for a developing baby include:

  • Neurodevelopmental issues that can lead to learning difficulties and behavior problems in later life
  • Developmental disabilities
  • Growth defects in babies
  • Cleft palate
  • Respiratory problems
  • Infections

What Are the Dangers of Drug Abuse in Pregnancy?

It is not recommended to consume alcohol or illicit drugs during pregnancy. This is because there is potential for devastating consequences to both mother and baby. Risks include:

  • Miscarriage
  • Stillbirth
  • Premature birth
  • Low birth weight
  • Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
  • Long-term health and development complications for the developing child

Babies exposed to cocaine when in the womb can develop neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). Although it most commonly occurs through opioid abuse, the risk is there for any illicit drug use. This can cause irritability, difficulty feeding, respiratory problems, and seizures. Although treatment is available, it is better to avoid this happening in the first place.

The risks of prenatal drug abuse can make for a difficult read, but this is why it is essential to be aware of them to avoid any possible complications. Help is available through your local health practitioner, a rehab center, or a helpline.

How Do I Get Addiction Treatment?

Seeking professional help and treatment for cocaine use or addiction is the right and admirable thing to do for both you and your baby.

Treatment typically includes detoxification to kick the physical addiction as well as therapy and group support for the best chance of successful long-term recovery. This might seem overwhelming at first, but we are here to make the process easier.

Call Us Today

Our team of healthcare professionals can offer personalized rehab care to suit your needs. Talk to us today to discuss your treatment options for cocaine use and addiction.

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    Marietta, GA 30066

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