Effects Of Psychoactive Drugs Essay

1590 words - 6 pages

Development is a never ending cycle in life. Each person begins to develop from conception until passing away. Now, while most people think that development starts after birth that is incorrect. Development starts as soon as the baby is conceived. Everything that a woman carrying a baby does or takes place in will translate into the baby. The baby shares a blood flow with the mother. Drugs, even legal drugs, will go into the mother’s blood stream which will then go into the baby’s blood stream. The “maternal blood flows through the uterine arteries to the spaces housing the placenta, and it returns through the uterine vein to the maternal circulation” (Santrock, 2012, p. 80). This means that anything that enters into the blood stream will also affect the baby. Each type of drug is under a certain category. Psychoactive drugs are drugs that are constantly being studier. According to Santrock (2012), psychoactive drugs are drugs that act on the nervous system to alter states of consciousness, modify perception, and change moods. (p.83). They come in three categories: stimulants, depressants, and hallucinogens. Stimulants include caffeine, cocaine, methamphetamine and nicotine. Some people say that pregnant woman do not know what taking these into their system is doing to their baby. Stimulants are becoming more popular and there effects need to be studied and known. Each stimulant affects the baby in short-term and long-term.
Caffeine is a stimulant that has not been given the attention that some says it deserves. Caffeine is found in many everyday substances. It can be found in coffee, tea or sodas. Caffeine can be found on almost every street corner. There is a coffee place in just about every town. Sodas and coffee are found in almost every gas station at a cheaper price than water. While caffeine is a stimulant it is different than other stimulants. This is because the side effects are not always detectable. “The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommend that pregnant women either not consume caffeine or consume it only sparingly” (Santrock, 2012, p. 83). A study of one hundred and five women found that sixty-five percent of women no longer drink coffee because they do not like it anymore after they become pregnant. This can be due to the fact that pregnant women crave things and their tastes change. While there have not been found to be long-term effects, there was a “small but significant increase in spontaneous abortion and low birth weight when drinking more than 150 milligrams per day” (Monti, 2007). It has also been found that pregnant women who do not smoke but intake over 300 milligrams per day have a higher risk for repeated miscarriage. Sloviter (2007) also found that most recent studies say that moderation is key. Caffeine may be okay at a very low dosage. However, the studies about the intake of caffeine are still undergoing.
Illicit drugs are also a growing problem in the United States. Cocaine, which is a stimulant, has...

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