Dangerous Cocaine Effects on Pregnancy

Dangerous Cocaine Effects on Pregnancy

The cocaine effects on pregnancy are dangerous, both for the mother and child. The number of pregnant women taking this drug has been increasing at an alarming rate.

There is a great need for more information to be available and added education as to the many ill effects of taking cocaine. Here, we have an extensive article on what cocaine is, its physical and psychological effects, cocaine effects on pregnancy, and treatment options for cocaine addiction. 

Related article: What are the Potential Effects of Crack/Cocaine Addiction to the Body?

What is Cocaine?

Cocaine is a highly addictive drug that belongs to the class known as “stimulants.” As a stimulant drug, cocaine increases the levels of activity between the brain and the body. But this drug also has anesthetic properties that can be useful for some surgeries. Although the recreational use of cocaine is illegal, it is still available for valid medical purposes.

One can extract cocaine from coca leaves, a plant that is native to western South America. Indigenous people chew coca leaves or brew it as a tea. Drug dealers, on the other hand, make and sell cocaine in powder or crystal form. 

Drug dealers often mix the drug with other substances such as amphetamines and synthetic opioids. They also “cut” cocaine with talcum powder, glucose, or lactose to make more profit by selling less of the actual drug. 

How Does It Look Like?

Cocaine hydrochloride is the form of this drug that is considered the most common. It’s a powder that has a white, crystalline colour and a bitter taste. One can further process cocaine hydrochloride to produce cocaine varieties, known as “freebase” and “crack.”

Freebase cocaine is nearly 100 percent pure, meaning it almost doesn’t contain the drug’s hydrochloride additive. This form is heat-soluble, which one can produce by converting powder cocaine into cocaine sulphate. 

Crack cocaine, on the other hand, is another cocaine variety which is considered the most addictive. It is in rock-like or crystal form and comes in colours ranging from creamy or white to transparent with a yellow or pink hue. Crack is a result of combining and boiling powdered cocaine with water and sodium bicarbonate. 

Cocaine has a variety of names, including, coke, C, snow, Charlie, toot, nose candy, stardust, white dust, blow, and white lady. Crack is also known as wash or rock, and freebase as merely base. 

Related article: Signs of Cocaine and the Most Revolting Things that Will Make You Explode 

How Do People Use the Drug?

Some users snort powdered cocaine through the nostrils or rub the substance onto their gums, while others inject the dissolved drug into their bloodstream. Hardcore users combine cocaine and heroin and inject the mixture into their bloodstream to feel “high.” 

Another common way of using cocaine is by smoking it. Heat-soluble forms of the drug, such as freebase and crack, are heated and inhaled into the lungs to produce euphoria. Some cocaine users also sprinkle cocaine on tobacco or marijuana and smoke the substance like a cigarette. 

Since cocaine is highly addictive, some people take the drug in higher doses to maintain the feel-good sensation it brings. 

How Does It Affect the Brain?

Cocaine boosts the levels of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that is responsible for sending signals between different neurons of the brain. Dopamine also plays a role in activating pleasurable feelings and reward-motivated behaviours. This interaction between cocaine and dopamine is the reason why the drug is extremely addictive. 

In the normal function of the brain, the nerve cell releases dopamine, and the latter recycles back into the cell where it originates, blocking the signals between nerve cells. However, during cocaine use, no recycling of dopamine happens. Instead, the dopamine accumulates in the area between two nerve cells, resulting in the cessation of standard transmission of signals.

This build-up of dopamine in the reward circuit of the brain causes people to get addicted to cocaine. Once this area of the brain gets used to the flood of dopamine induced by cocaine, the person will become tolerant to the drug. In consequence, the user takes higher doses of the drug within a short period to keep the high and to fight off withdrawal symptoms. 

Related article: Cocaine Addiction: How it Works in Canada and How it Affects the Life of a Person? 

Short-Term Effects of Using Cocaine

Cocaine use produces short-term effects on users, such as:

  • Boost of energy
  • Mental quickness
  • Feelings of happiness
  • Hypersensitivity to touch, sight, and sound
  • Irritability
  • Paranoia
  • Restlessness
  • Increased blood pressure and body temperature
  • Constriction of blood vessels
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Nausea
  • Dilated pupils
  • Muscle twitches

Since cocaine boosts energy and mental alertness, some users report that they do psychological and physical tasks more quickly. Others find that cocaine makes them unable to perform tasks correctly. Also, higher doses of the drug can result in unpredictable, strange, and violent behaviours. 

The effects of cocaine happen almost once a person consumes it and go away within several minutes to an hour. The intensity and duration of the impact will depend on how the user takes the drug and its dosage. 

The effects of snorting cocaine may last up to 20 to 30 minutes. While the feel-good sensation of smoking may last up to 5 to 10 minutes. However, smoking the drug produces faster and stronger effects than snorting it. 

Long-Term Effects on Health

Using cocaine can take a toll on your health. Some of the health problems may last for a long time, depending on how the person uses the drug. 

  • Smoking. Cough, asthma, pneumonia, and respiratory problems.
  • Snorting. Loss of smell, runny nose, nosebleeds, and difficulty swallowing. 
  • Oral intake. Intestinal ischemia or severe bowel decay due to the reduced blood flow to the intestines.
  • Needle injection. Scarring or collapsed veins, skin tissue infections, and increased risk of getting, hepatitis C, HIV, and other blood-borne diseases. 

Moreover, even the consumption of cocaine without using needles can cause users to be at higher risk of contracting HIV. It’s because using the drug impairs judgment, which can result in risky sexual interactions with infected individuals. 

Motor function disorders, malnutrition, hallucinations, severe paranoia, depression, and violent behaviour are also among the long-term effects of cocaine use. Consumption of the drug can also lead to overdose, which can be life-threatening and fatal. 

Treatment Options for Cocaine Addiction

There are treatment options available for people who have a cocaine addiction. 

  • Cognitive-behavioural therapy
  • Group-based therapy
  • Community-based recovery 
  • Motivational incentives 
  • Contingency management

Everyone must know the health and social effects of cocaine addiction. Cocaine is an extremely addictive drug, and it can bring severe health effects and even death to the user. That’s why we should stay away from using cocaine to prevent these unfortunate things from happening. 

If you have a cocaine addiction, you should see to it that you get the necessary treatment. There are treatment options available to control the withdrawal symptoms of the drug and help you recover from it. 

Related article: Cocaine: The Surprising Facts that You Need to Know About 

What is Cocaine Addiction?

One of the main concerns with talks about substance abuse is the emphasis on the drug rather than the history and mental well-being of the person using it.

When describing the addiction potential of cocaine, the most precise explanation is that cocaine is extremely addictive. However, not everyone who indulges in the flight of fancy-like effects of cocaine becomes addicted. So the preferable and most ideal response is that a lot of factors affect whether someone who uses cocaine will develop a specific addiction.

In brief, cocaine stimulates a person’s central nervous system. The mode of action of cocaine impacts how users can develop a disorder of stimulant use. 

Cocaine takes effect instantly but also wears off immediately, and this prompts the users who take the drug to tend to crave and take more usually over a short period. 

How does cocaine impact a person’s system?

For a temporary period, cocaine produces stimulating effects on the user’s body. It generally taps the brain to increase the concentration of dopamine in the brain. This action generates feelings of satisfaction and happiness. Cocaine impacts the user’s system to elevate the dopamine levels causing the individual to feel a sense of euphoria.

Cocaine inhibits dopamine, along with other neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine, from being brought into the nerve cells. This mechanism enables enormous amounts of the neurotransmitters to gather and stimulate the neighbouring nerve cells, and this action intensifies the gratifying pleasurable sense of euphoria.

Also, cocaine can minimize your desire for food and sleep. Some individuals claim that cocaine helps them to think better and execute tasks more efficiently. Hence, a lot of users start to crave the effects and feelings that cocaine produces.

Constant use of cocaine may cause you to develop a higher tolerance to the drug. It means you’ll be needing more amount of cocaine for you to experience its euphoric effects. This outcome will lead the user to take higher quantities of it, which can influence the user’s physical and mental health, and this is where the word “addiction” comes into the picture.

Physical Cocaine Addiction

Cocaine dependence is the result of physical addiction to cocaine. As the body and brain adjust to the chemical alterations that cocaine effects, they begin to need cocaine to maintain their normal function. 

This demand can lead to symptoms of withdrawal when cocaine use ceases. The body, since it demands cocaine to sustain healthy functioning, it produces cravings for cocaine that a lot of people find utterly irresistible.

Physical impacts of addiction to cocaine addiction:

  • Chest pain
  • Increased cardiac rate
  • Cardiac arrhythmia
  • Heart attack
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Unhealthy weight loss
  • Seizure
  • Stroke

Psychological Cocaine Addiction

When cocaine meets a psychological desire, it is when mental addiction to cocaine transpires. The heightened stimulation and energy that cocaine causes may affect the user using the drug to feel better about socializing in particular situations. The “high” feeling that cocaine generates may help a user overcome feelings of hopelessness or inadequacy. 

There are several psychological wants that someone might try to treat with the use of cocaine. The common determinant will be that cocaine is going to be the one to help a person cope with a particular psychological desire. This commonality suggests that the user needs cocaine to assist them to continue to manage with the psychological need.

Psychological impacts of addiction to cocaine include:

  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Aggression
  • Panic
  • Repetitive or abnormal behaviours
  • Impaired judgment
  • Hallucinations

Diagnosing a Person with Cocaine Addiction

A licensed physician will take a series of specific factors into consideration upon diagnosing a person with cocaine abuse.

Eventually, the physician will likely apply particular criteria out the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition) to decide if the user has a specific addiction to cocaine. Usually, the diagnosis depends on possessing at least two of the criteria mentioned below:

  • Cravings
  • Perilous use of the drug
  • Interpersonal or social problems associated with the use of the drug
  • An excessive period allocated using the drug
  • Physical or mental challenges associated with the use of the drug
  • Experiencing the symptoms of withdrawal
  • Activities exchanged by cocaine use
  • Developing a cocaine tolerance
  • Using larger amounts of cocaine
  • Repeated struggles to control or quit the use of cocaine
  • Neglected significant obligations to use the drug

Preventing Cocaine Abuse

Prevention must begin early in the preadolescent ages for all kids but specifically for those individuals who are at risk of using the drug. This scenario would include kids who belong in families with a history of addiction, such as excessive drug use or alcoholism. 

Teaching the young generation to say “no” to drinking alcohol, using tobacco products, and drugs are already an excellent prevention practice. 

We need to continually keep the kids as well as our upcoming generations from the gateway drugs of nicotine, marijuana, and alcohol. We are capable of preventing the escalation to more stimulating drugs like cocaine and hence protect many people from the long-term impacts of excessive drug use.

Related article: You’ll See What Really Happened with Cocaine Addiction

How is Cocaine Abuse Treated?

Cocaine abuse is a complicated disease, with physical, environmental, familial, social, and psychological factors. There are several treatment approaches for cocaine abuse that address all these elements.


There are no specific medications produced to treat cocaine abuse. But there are other kinds of medicines which can be valuable, such as antidepressant medications.

Behaviour Therapy

Behaviour therapy shows assuring effects for assisting people through cocaine abuse. Institutions can perform the treatment as an outpatient basis or even as a component of a residential therapy program.

Behaviour therapy includes awards for meeting objectives related to stopping the use. CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) teaches learning methods that support you to remain not using.

Treatment Centers

Residential therapy programs serve to cover all aspects of abuse. These programs can continue for many weeks to a year, and this program usually includes support groups, therapy, or vocational rehab.

Cocaine addiction is, indeed, a complicated sickness that needs thorough treatment. Cocaine abuse has a severe impact on a person’s physical and psychological health and can end in premature death.

If ever you have a loved one who is addicted to the drug, don’t hesitate to reach out to a physician. It is to help you explore treatment alternatives and find additional support sources.

Why Do People Get Addicted to Cocaine?

Cocaine is one of the most addicting drugs on the market. This drug can sell up to a million-dollar within a week in America. People of varying ages and occupations can be vulnerable to this drug. 

One of the reasons why most individuals opt to use this drug is because of its stimulant properties. Celebrities are one of the most vulnerable individuals prone to choosing cocaine to push their bodies beyond what it can do. People who work in the most stressful environment are also common victims of this drug.

Coca plant comes from South America, and the USA is the country with most buyers of cocaine. The youngest recorded user of cocaine was as young as eight years old. Depending on the availability of the drug, anyone is susceptible to the addictive trap and nature of this drug.

Cocaine came from coca plants which are common in South America. It is a stimulant drug that can boost your attention span, alertness, and energy. Cocaine has many colloquial names. The famous names are Coke, Snow, Rock, Crack, etc. 

It is famous among elixirs and medical back in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Later on, research revealed that cocaine has dangerous, addictive components that can make the brain malfunction under constant use.

Usage of cocaine is permissible inside the medical institution administered by a professional doctor. With that, the usage of this product is not for recreational purposes. Illegal usage of this drug has repercussions both by-laws and health terms. 

It is important to note that recreational cocaine is available in the underground market. In such instances, drug dealers commonly mix this drug with cornstarch or something of equal to gain more profit. To clarify, even more, this is not hygienic and safe.

Cocaine has an addictive component, namely, benzoylmethylecgonine. This component in the coca leaves produces the stimulant effect of the brain. Although directly chewing the leaves of the coca leaves doesn’t emit any harmful side effects, it’s a different story when the leaves undergo a process.

When do people use it?

Cocaine users abuse this drug in generally two forms – in its freebase form and its powder state. Snorting the powder form of the drug is the most basic way to do it. Others would be injecting the drug into their arms. The freebase form is the local type of drug in the streets. 

Cocaine undergoes a process of mixing it with ammonia or baking soda and water. As heat produces a smokable substance, it creates a crackling sound upon smoking – thus, the name crack.

When people are in a desperate measure to push their bodies beyond their boundaries, they tend to opt to cocaine. Social pressure is also one of the causes as to why individuals use cocaine. 

To try living up to the expectations of society or to escape the sad reality of being less, users opt to cocaine to stimulate themselves and do more. But then again, the repercussions of this action can be gravely dangerous in the near future.

What makes it addictive?

The cocaine sold by the underground markets and street drug dealers is not pure. The drug itself is a powerful addictive material. It is so addictive that it can change the brain structure. As a result of repeated usage, disorientation of the brain functions occurs.

This drug also has a psychoactive numbing effect. What makes this drug more addictive is due to dopamine which is a pleasure chemical to the brain. The overproduction of dopamine then increases an individual’s adrenaline.

Abusers, under the influence of cocaine, feel an intense surge of unnecessary happiness. They also tend to be more inhumane as they become more sensitive with their senses.

In most cases, abusers are addicted to cocaine because of the beaming happiness and boost that the drug offers. People who also want to escape a sad reality tends to rely on the drug to reimagine their joy. Individuals who are desperate to divert their attention from reality are the most vulnerable folks with the addictiveness of cocaine.

How can you avoid being addicted to cocaine?

In the early 1900s, surgeons used them to filtrate pain and to make surgeries bearable. However, as research regarding cocaine advances, it is now legally acknowledged as an anesthetic for eye, ear, and throat surgeries. When cocaine is used otherwise especially for recreational purposes, it is illegal.

Self-medication with cocaine to ease the feeling of numbness will not do you any good. It will suppress the feeling of any pain at the moment, but it will consequently bring forth more problems. 

Addiction is one of the many pressing issues that cocaine can give you. Coke is obviously not available in a local drug store. So you will be forced to buy it from drug dealers. And of course, their sources are questionable.

Peers are the most significant contributors to drug addiction. Most of the time, due to peer pressure, the person gives in to the usage of an illegal substance and later on gets addicted to it. You have to choose your friends wisely. 

Friends who lead you a destructive life path are not real friends. Those who bring your destruction and distractions are people that you should strip off your life. These kinds of people are not only toxic to your health but are also poisonous to your lifestyle.

The repercussions of cocaine addiction can alter lives. To avoid addiction, it is essential to remind yourself of these basic principles in life. Sometimes, it just takes guts to say no to prevent further life destruction.

Understandably, people want to escape pain which is why they opt to use drugs. The perfect feeling that illegal substance promises to its users is the main booby traps to destruction. While we think that we are doing things for our good in committing such decisions, we are doing more harm to our already broken selves.

Cocaine is a dangerous addicting substance. If you or a loved one is having a problem with drug addiction, always seek professional help. Self-medication or listening to people with no lenient background regarding the issue will only worsen the situation for the recipient. The case is already problematic; the least that we want for the person is to have a worse condition.

Effects of Cocaine on the Body

Whether in crystal or powder form, cocaine produces an extreme impact on a user’s body, particularly the brain and heart. Using cocaine can instantly damage a person’s brain cells, even after short periods of heavy use.

Cocaine creates a momentary, intense high that is then instantly followed by the exact opposite, and the user suddenly experiences severe loneliness, anxiety, and a longing for more of the euphoric drug. 

Cocaine users usually don’t sleep properly or even eat. They will experience an immensely increased cardiac rate, muscle contractions, and seizures. The drug can also make the users feel paranoid, anxious, angry, and hostile, even when they are not under the effects of cocaine.

Most users are careless of how much cocaine usage, or how often they take the drug. Cocaine at least doubles the risk that the user will suffer from a heart attack, convulsions, stroke, or breathing (respiratory) failure. Any of these can result in a person’s sudden death.

How does cocaine particularly affect the brain?

Cocaine stimulates the amount of dopamine, which is a natural chemical present in a human’s brain. Limited amounts of dopamine travel through the brain cells to provide happiness or satisfaction.

But when a person is using cocaine, dopamine floods the brain cells, so swamped that it doesn’t have anywhere else to travel. Therefore, these excessive amounts of dopamine inhibit your brain cells from properly communicating and functioning with one another.

In the long run, cocaine causes the brain to become less receptive to the effects of dopamine. This scenario signifies that larger volumes of cocaine are now necessary to deliver similar results of a dopamine high.

Eventually, as a user consistently flood the brain with dopamine, it will slowly damage its structure leading to convulsions and other neurological problems.

Using cocaine slows down the metabolism of glucose in the brain as well. This effect can cause the neurons present in the brain to function at a very slow pace and start to die.

Damage to the structures of the brain will trigger addiction, which is a condition affecting the dopamine systems and reward circuits. And abusing this potent drug can cause other sets of long-term suffering as well.

Effects on Mental Well-Being and Mood

Both powdered cocaine and crack (freebase) can cause damage to the user’s mental well-being for over a long period. It takes shape in the form of emotional disturbances or mood alterations. Since cocaine interferes explicitly with the neurons’ reabsorption of dopamine, one of the hallmark signs of cocaine’s rebound effect is severe depression.

If the brain doesn’t reach its original balance, then a person who has suffered cocaine addiction for an extended period may acquire permanent depression and need continuous mental health therapy.

Other severe long-term alterations to mood and mental well-being include:

  • Restlessness
  • Paranoia
  • Psychosis
  • Auditory hallucinations
  • Schizophrenia

Cocaine increases the levels of cortisol (stress hormones) in a person’s brain, which can, in turn, permanently increase the blood pressure, harming our cardiovascular system. Even if the users don’t develop paranoia or psychosis, they still experience panic disorders, anxiety, or problems with violence and aggression.

How does cocaine particularly affect the heart?

Since cocaine is a rapid-acting drug, it causes many types of harmful effects on the person’s body. This effect puts a higher degree of pressure or stress on your cardiovascular system. Your heart will force itself to pump harder to circulate blood throughout the different parts of the body, and this results in elevated blood pressure. 

Outlined below are some of the effects that cocaine can have on a person’s blood vessels and heart.

Atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries

Frequent cocaine use might lead to the hardening of capillaries and arteries, a condition known as atherosclerosis. This problem is not instantly noticeable, but both the short-term and the long-term harm caused by the particular illness can lead to cardiovascular disease and other probably life-threatening issues.

Aortic dissection

The sudden rise in pressure and added stress on the muscles in your heart can lead to an unexpected tear in the aortic wall. It is the main artery in a person’s body. Hence, the term aortic dissection (separation), and this disease causes severe chest pains. Aortic dissection is a painful and life-threatening condition that needs urgent medical treatment. 

Inflammation of the cardiac muscle

Using cocaine can cause swelling in the layers of your cardiac muscles. Throughout the condition, the swelling can lead to the hardening of a person’s heart muscles. This concern can make the heart less effective at pumping blood through the different body parts. It can lead to severe and life-threatening problems, and of course, it includes heart failure.

Disturbances in the cardiac rhythm

Cocaine can meddle with the electrical system of the heart and disturb the signals that inform each of the heart’s portion to pump with the others together. This condition leads to cardiac arrhythmias or irregular cardiac rhythm.

Cocaine-induced heart attacks

The variety of effects on the heart and blood vessels from cocaine use increases the risk of a heart attack. Cocaine use can lead to elevated blood pressure levels, hardened arteries, along with thickened cardiac muscle walls, which can eventually cause a heart attack.

Signs of cardiac problems related to cocaine use

Constant use of cocaine can lead to sudden cardiac-related signs and symptoms. These include sweating, increased heart rate, palpitations, along with severe chest pains as well. This scenario may lead people to seek immediate treatment at a hospital’s emergency department.

Continuous cocaine use, as per evidence, increases the risk of suffering from stroke or a heart attack. That particular event happens because cocaine can induce damage to the heart almost instantly after a person starts using it. And what’s more, is that the damage accumulates and builds up the longer a person uses the drug.

Quitting cocaine does not quickly minimize a person’s risk for cardiovascular well-being problems because much of the damage caused by the drug can be irreversible or permanent. On a brighter note, quitting cocaine can stop additional loss, which reduces the risk for cardiac-related health problems, such as myocardial infarction or heart attack.

Cocaine Effects on Pregnancy

Cocaine use during pregnancy can have long-term adverse effects on both mother and baby. However, statistical data reveals that a significant number of people who are using cocaine are women of childbearing age. It also shows that five percent of pregnant women use addictive substances, and 750,000 pregnancies are exposed to cocaine every year. 

For pregnant women, taking care of your baby is a must. You should know the harm that cocaine and other substances can bring to you and your baby, and seek out help treat your drug addiction immediately. Here’s what you need to know about cocaine effects on pregnancy. 

Health Risks of Cocaine Use on Expectant Mothers

Women who are using cocaine during pregnancy may increase their risks of malnutrition, anemia, and different types of skin infections. After pregnancy, women who are struggling with frequent cocaine use may also increase their chances of having severe postpartum depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideations. 

Cocaine use of the mother can also lead to respiratory health problems, cardiovascular diseases, and blood-borne infections, such as HIV and hepatitis. Moreover, using cocaine during pregnancy can also result in high blood pressure, cardiac arrhythmia, acute pulmonary edema, seizures, and sudden death of the mother and the baby. 

The mother’s and baby’s lives will more likely be exposed to dangers and neglect if the mother doesn’t seek help to treat her addiction. Unless the mother finds treatment for her addiction, self-harm, violent incidents, involvement in hazardous situations, and legal troubles are not impossible to happen. 

Effects on Pregnancy

Cocaine addiction in pregnant women has also had a connection to poor pregnancy outcomes. A variety of problems that may occur as a consequence of cocaine use within and around the delicate stage of pregnancy include:

  • Preeclampsia
  • Placental infarction 
  • Placental abruption
  • Low birth weight
  • Impaired fetal growth
  • Ectopic pregnancy 
  • Intrauterine growth restriction
  • Small size for gestational phase
  • Miscarriage
  • Premature rupture of membranes
  • Reduced head circumference
  • Congenital malformations
  • Perinatal cerebral infarction
  • Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
  • Premature birth
  • Stillbirth

Using cocaine during pregnancy may also affect the mother’s likelihood of carrying the unborn child to full-term. Having a full-term pregnancy, which means birth between 39 and 40 weeks, is essential for the baby’s brain development. A shorter pregnancy, on the other hand, can lead to problems in the child’s development.

Premature birth is the term used when the baby is born before 37 weeks of pregnancy. This kind of delivery is the leading cause of death among children ages five and younger. Most premature children can also have hearing and visual problems and can struggle from lifelong learning disabilities. 

Another unfortunate pregnancy outcome caused by cocaine effects on pregnancy is a miscarriage or spontaneous abortion. Pregnant women who use cocaine during early pregnancy can be at risk for miscarriage because the drug interrupts the blood flow to the placenta. 

A study also shows that the intake of drug stimulants like cocaine can increase the risk of stillbirth by 2.2 times. Moreover, the trauma of stillbirth can lead to long-term psychological problems on the mother. For instance, the mother may experience post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety. 

Negative Impact on a Developing Child

Drug stimulants like cocaine interact with the central nervous system. It can also reach into the placenta and then into the fetus. The drug’s adverse effects on the development of the fetus can result in congenital disabilities and abnormalities, such as congenital heart diseases, limb defects, and cleft palate. 

The effects of cocaine when it reaches the uterus may also lead to neurodevelopmental issues for the child that can contribute to the following problems.

  • Impaired procedural learning and perceptual reasoning
  • Impaired adolescent functioning
  • Behavioural issues
  • Attention deficit disorder (ADHD)
  • Oppositional defiant disorder
  • Poor memory 
  • Difficulty in learning languages

Studies also show that using habit-forming substances like cocaine can lead to the mother abusing the child because of the drug’s capacity to impair the psychological function of the mother. 

Furthermore, exposure to cocaine in utero can increase the child’s inclination to use tobacco and addictive drugs and to develop substance use disorders in his/her teenage years. The child can also have problems with controlling their emotions, difficulty in problem-solving, and trouble in managing stress. 

Scientific evidence also points to the cocaine effects on pregnancy as one of the causes of a child’s incapacity to handle different types of stress in the environment. This problem can lead to anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation on the part of the child in his/her teens. Likewise, the child is also more likely to be aggressive and violent when he/she grows up. 

The chemical interactions of the drug on the child’s development during pregnancy and exposure to the stress of living with a mother who has a cocaine addiction, are very detrimental to the part of the child. Thus, at all costs, you should stay away from addictive drugs like cocaine and seek out help if you have already developed a dependence on it. 

How to Treat Cocaine Addiction

There’s still a chance that you can overcome cocaine addiction. You need to get some medical help to treat it. If you’re hooked on cocaine while you’re pregnant, early medical intervention can prevent you and your child from experiencing the problems mentioned above. 

You can find a variety of options that can help you understand the nature of drug addiction as well as learn ways on how to overcome it. Typically, a person who uses drugs like cocaine has underlying triggers, such as psychological trauma, which makes that person resort to using drugs. 

Most drug addiction treatments help you cope with such triggers without resorting to drug use. You will also participate in individual counselling, group-based therapies, and detoxification treatment to help you deal with your cocaine addiction. 


Using cocaine during pregnancy can result in a lot of health complications on the mother and the baby. So, if you’re pregnant, you should always stay away from using any addictive substances like cocaine if you want to have a healthy pregnancy.

The cocaine effects on pregnancy are not only dangerous. They can be fatal. If you need help with your addiction, don’t hesitate to contact us for the treatment options available for your recovery. Call Inspire Change Addiction Rehab in Vancouver for addiction treatment programs.

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