Q: What advice can i give a friend who is doing drugs while being 4 months pregnant? What is the worst that can happen?
A: Drugs, or controlled substances of any kind including alcohol and cigarrettes, are NOT recommended in pregnancy at any gestational age. Drug that are consumed at ANY month in pregnancy can cause severe and irreversible organ damage in the developing fetus, the most critical organ being the brain. Your friend is not only risking the health of her child for the rest of that child's life, but she is potentially putting her opportunity to raise that child herself in jeopardy. If any woman tests positive on a drug screen at any time during the pregnancy, then Child Protective Services (CPS) can, and usually does, become involved. CPS may just require home visits after the birth to ensure that the child is being cared for and not placed in any undue danger from drug use and/or negligence in the home; however, in some cases, usually if the child begins to show signs of drug withdrawal after birth, CPS may require that the child go home with another more responsible family member or foster parent, and your friend will have to go through all the necessary legal channels to get her child back. You should encourage your friend to get help with a drug treatment program immediately.