Prenatal/Perinatal Drug Effects

The use of drugs, particularly drugs such as alcohol, cocaine, or marijuana, by either parent at the time of conception or by the mother during the gestation period and/or the lactation period can have serious, long‐term effects. Much has been reported about fetal alcohol babies and crack‐ or cocaine‐exposed babies and the problems they present. One of those problems concerns their abilities to respond appropriately to various environmental stimuli. In fact, cocaine‐exposed infants are often so overstimulated by ordinary environmental stimuli that they cannot tolerate even being held or comforted. Some fetal alcohol babies, on the other hand, appear less responsive than unexposed infants and may suffer various mental impairments and atypical facial features.