Prenatal Drug Exposure Effects

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Prenatal Drug Exposure Effects

A quarter of pregnant women in addiction treatment were previously using methamphetamine. This drug use during pregnancy can lead to many health risks for the mother and baby. A study published in The Journal of Pediatrics finds that prenatal exposure to the drug can lead to some behavioral issues. The study also finds that having a supportive environment can decrease the risk and levels of these issues.

This study followed the IDEAL (Infant Development, Environment and Lifestyle) study, which is conducted in various U.S. states. The IDEAL study followed children exposed to methamphetamine while in the womb.  The new study surveyed 290 children that also participated in the IDEAL study. From these survey results, they found that prenatal methamphetamine exposure is linked to aggressive behavior, especially when the children are in environments with poverty or continued drug use.

This study only studied children to the age of 7.5, so more long-term studies would need to be conducted to analyze possible development issues from prenatal exposure to methamphetamine.