Effects of Methamphetamine Speed, Crank, Crystal Meth
“Methamphetamine is a central nervous system stimulant and can cause fetal heart failure and stroke, mal-formed organs and other developmental abnormalities”
Effect during Pregnancy: methamphetamine causes severe changes in blood pressure, and available oxygen to the fetus, causing stroke, heart attack and premature labor.
Effects on the Fetus: methamphetamine also reduces blood flow to the fetus causing malformation or lack of limbs and organs such as the brain and kidneys,
Effect on the Infant:
Slow development, learning and behavioral problems are typical of children with mothers who used methamphetamine during pregnancy.
Characteristics of Meth Exposed Infants:
What are the effects of methamphetamine on babies during pregnancy and after birth? Methamphetamine use during pregnancy affects development of a baby’s:
- Spinal cord
- Methamphetamine use during pregnancy may result in prenatal complications, such as premature delivery and birth deformities.
- High doses of the drug may cause a baby’s blood pressure to rise rapidly, leading them to suffer strokes or brain hemorrhages before birth.
- Babies whose mothers used methamphetamine during pregnancy may experience learning disabilities, growth and developmental delays.
- Methamphetamine-exposed babies may experience gastroschisis and other problems with the development of their intestines. (Gastroschisis is a condition in which a baby is born with a hole in the abdomen, causing the intestines to be outside the body.)
- As a result of methamphetamine use by their mothers, some babies may suffer developmental and skeletal abnormalities (such as clubfoot). Some babies are born without parts of their arms or legs.
- Because methamphetamine affects transmitters in the brain, babies often experience sleep disturbances and altered behavioral patterns. These babies have been described as “irritable babies.”
- Full-term babies born to mothers who use methamphetamine will likely have difficulty sucking and swallowing, much like premature babies.
- Often babies born to meth-addicted women cannot tolerate stimuli such as human touch and light. These babies often display tremors and coordination problems.
Source: North Dakota Department of Health
The effects of methamphetamine use on brain development may last for many years. School-aged children whose mothers used methamphetamine while pregnant are more likely to be hyperactive or to have attention deficit disorders, learning disabilities and unprovoked fits of anger.