Prenatal exposure to methamphetamine may also be a problem in the United States. Although according to the NSDUH, less than 1 percent of pregnant women aged 15-44 had used methamphetamine in the past year, any use among this population is of concern. Unfortunately, our knowledge of the effects of methamphetamine during pregnancy is limited. The few human studies that exist have shown increased rates of premature delivery, placental abruption, fetal growth retardation, and heart and brain abnormalities. However, these studies are difficult to interpret due to methodological issues, such as small sample size and maternal use of other drugs. Ongoing research is continuing to study developmental outcomes such as cognition, social relationships, motor skills, and medical status of children exposed to methamphetamine before birth.
This series of reports simplifies the science of research findings for the educated lay public, legislators, educational groups, and practitioners. The series reports on research findings of national interest.
Please note: After September 2013 all NIDA Research Reports will be offered online exclusively. Orders for printed hard copies must be received by August 15, 2013.
As a result of scientific research, we know that addiction is a disease that affects both brain and behavior.