Whether a woman has just recovered from drug addiction or consumes a glass of wine in the evening for heart health, she will reasonably stop using any type of drug (besides those prescribed by her doctor) during her pregnancy. However, what do you do in a situation when you become pregnant during the time you were using a drug like (in this case) ecstasy? Although past research has confirmed a connection between ecstasy use and the development of mental problems during the 3rd trimester, what have scientists determined about the 1st and 2nd trimesters? What happens at the start of a human’s life when their mother has indulged in ecstasy? Let’s take a closer look and find out.

A Boost in Dopamine Levels

HOW ECSTASY CAN SEVERELY HARM UNBORN BABIESAs part of a recent experiment, Dr. Jack Lipton (Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois) and his research team administered ecstasy to 8 pregnant rats 2 times per day through days 14 and 20 of their pregnancies. Once the rat pups were born, the scientists discovered that the 21-day old pups experienced a 502% boost in dopamine neuron fibers (in contrast with the babies who did not receive the drug). Even more remarkable, additional changes took place in another region of the brain associated with rewards and moods: the nucleus accumbens. Interestingly, though, the greatest changes seemed to take place more frequently in the male pups versus female pups, indicating that gender is factor in the effects of ecstasy.

Changes in Behavior

Dr. Lipton and his team also recorded behavioral changes in the baby rats. After the pups who were exposed to ecstasy were put in a cage with the control group, they frequently explored the new environment, indicating they were having a difficult time adjusting to their new surroundings (in contrast to the healthy pups). Dr. Lipton has suggested that prenatal ecstasy exposure can also trigger behavioral problems like attention deficits or hyperactivity.

Seeking Treatment for Hallucinogen Use  

Hallucinogens are dangerous drugs that will alter your memories, emotions, and sensations. So, imagine how difficult and dangerous the situation can get when you introduce a baby into the mixture. Unborn children are put at a greater risk than their mothers, and the consequences of exposing these underdeveloped humans to drugs can be devastating (if not terrifying). Take the first steps to protect you and your baby. If you, a friend, or loved one is suffering from a severe case of drug abuse, get in touch with Asana Recovery today. Our professional team of counselors and healthcare experts will help you endure the painful process detox and withdrawal and guide you through each step of the rehabilitation process to help you separate yourself from these substances. The time to take back control of your life is now.

If you want to find out more about our residential treatment or supervised detoxification/withdrawal programs or enroll in one of these programs today, we are ready and waiting to speak with you at your leisure and your disclosure. Call Asana now at (949) 438-4504 to learn about how you can overcome your drug problems today.