Methamphetamine use during pregnancy is a very big problem in North America and it can have a profound impact on the child while still in the womb. Researchers have determined that nearly 25% of women who sought treatment for substance abuse at a federal facility while pregnant needed help for methamphetamine use. Using this drug during pregnancy can cause many problems for the children exposed in the uterus, and they can develop emotional and behavioral problems that can be very severe at times. Research does show that a supportive environment in the home can be beneficial for children who had this exposure though, and this step could improve the outcome considerably. The newest research will be published in The Journal of Pediatrics at a future date, and it concluded that behavioral problems caused by exposure to methamphetamine use during pregnancy could be managed better or even minimized when the home environment was supportive.
Methamphetamine use during pregnancy can lead to children who develop severe issues, and these behavioral issues can become a vicious cycle if not treated early on. Providing a supportive environment in the home can help avoid a negative outcome and provide the support that these children need to develop control over their behaviors and emotions. Researcher Lynne M. Smith, M.D. and the leading study author noted that “In the first study of its kind, we followed children, who experienced prenatal methamphetamine exposure, up to the age of 7.5 years and found that adversities, such as poverty and continued drug abuse by a parent, contributed to behavioral and emotional control issues. While additional study is needed, these findings indicate that providing a supportive home life for children with prenatal methamphetamine exposure would reduce their behavioral and emotional control issues.”