Street Drugs Birth Defects

Street Drugs Birth Defects Cause Life-Long Medical Problems

Street drugs birth defects can affect almost every system of the body. Use of illicit drugs during pregnancy causes illegal drugs birth defects and increases the risk of fetal and maternal health complications. Drug use also increases the risk for maternal death and death of the unborn child.

Risks of Street Drugs Birth Defects

Since a fetus shares blood and nutrients with its mother, anything the mother introduces to her body affects the fetus. Illegal drugs birth defects develop when these drugs cross the placenta and enter the body of the fetus. This exposure to illicit drugs has several potential complications.

  • Abnormally low weight at birth
  • Premature labor
  • Miscarriage
  • Abruption of the placenta
  • Fetal death

Types of Illegal Drugs Birth Defects

Street drugs birth defects occur in the respiratory, cardiac and other systems of the developing baby. Possible problems include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Reduced oxygen supply to the baby
  • Restricted growth
  • Small head size
  • Drug dependency at birth
  • Difficulty feeding
  • Drug withdrawal symptoms
  • Muscle spasms
  • Tremors
  • Brain damage
  • Lack of muscle control
  • Learning disabilities

Street Drugs Birth Defects: Marijuana

Marijuana, also known as weed or pot, contains chemicals that reduce the amount of oxygen delivered to a developing baby. Oxygen levels drop below normal because marijuana use increases the amount of carbon monoxide in the blood.


Methamphetamine increases the heart rate of a developing baby. Babies born addicted to this drug experience serious withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms include muscle spasms, trouble feeding properly, sleep problems and learning disabilities.

Heroin and Cocaine Illegal Drugs Birth Defects

Developing babies exposed to heroin may become dependent on the drug since it is so addictive. In addition to the risk of premature birth and low birth weight, heroin increases the risk for street drugs birth defects like bleeding in the brain, low blood sugar and difficulty breathing. The developing baby cannot eliminate the cocaine as fast as an adult can, so the drug stays in the system longer and increases the risk of illegal drugs birth defects.

Illegal drugs birth defects have serious, lasting consequences. If you or a loved one has been involved in a situation where street drugs have resulted in health difficulties for a newborn you care about, contact one of Chaffin Luhana LLP’s experienced lawyers for a free review of your case. Call us at 1-888-480-1123