• Article

Drug addiction during pregnancy


Jones, H. (2006). Drug addiction during pregnancy: advances in maternal treatment and understanding child outcomes. Current Directions in Psychological Science : A Journal of the American Psychological Society, 15(3), 126-130.


Drug use during pregnancy is a significant risk factor for compromised child development. National statistics reveal that many pregnant women smoke tobacco (18%), drink alcohol (9.8%), and use illicit drugs (4%). Animal and clinical data show that prenatal alcohol and tobacco exposure have direct deleterious consequences on child development. Recent large multicenter studies have failed to show that prenatal cocaine or heroin exposure causes devastating child consequences when environmental variables are controlled. However, prenatal exposure to both licit and illicit drug use mostly occurs in the presence of environmental and contextual risk factors that together can impede healthy outcomes. Thus, treating these addiction disorders while addressing other lifestyle factors in a comprehensive way is critical