Substance Abuse and Pregnancy Essay

1609 Words Dec 15th, 2013 7 Pages
Kaisha Killion
Professor Salmond
Developmental Psychology
27 Sept. 2013

Substance Abuse and Pregnancy

Women are incredible creatures. Women have the incredible ability to aid in the development of a new life within a matter of months. Whether a pregnancy is wanted or unplanned the process of development for the young zygote nestled within the mother’s womb is still phenomenal. The developing bundles of cells are very vulnerable from the very start to the end of a pregnancy. The progress of development for the zygote is a delicate one than can be interrupted or slowed down by many internal and external forces. The forces that can interrupt development can range from biological to environmental. The woman carrying the child
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This enabling causes a constant craving for the drug that can lead to further abuse. Drugs commonly take over the limbic system of an individual and create mass amounts of dopamine that can cause intense feelings of euphoria (“Gateway Foundation”). While the mother is enjoying the high of whatever substance she has chosen, the substance is causing other physical changes in her body. The physical effects of substance abuse are extensive. Depending on the substance, a person can experience a multitude of symptoms alongside the high that the abuser strives for. The Gateway Foundation points out that the means of which the substance enters the body determines how the drug affects the individual (“Gateway Foundation”). Substance abuse can have immediate effects on the function of an individual’s brain and can cause adverse reactions such as nausea, seizures and possibly death (“Gateway Foundation”). Long term use of substances can affect the cardiovascular system, liver function and other organ functions (Gateway Foundation). Everything the expectant mother takes into her body is directly transmitted to the organism living in her uterus. Substances can cross through the placenta and harm the developing organism. Alcohol, even in small amounts, can harm a developing fetus. In the text, Experience Human Development, it states, “Moderate or heavy drinking during pregnancy

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