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Addiction and Substance Abuse

Drugs and conception



What effect would heroin, dilaudid, or meth have on my pregancy if my boyfriend was using at the time I got pregnant? I do not use drugs at all but I am very concerned about birth defects.


Thank you for your question. It is a very good question and one that is often asked. There is not much known about the effect on a pregnancy / developing fetus if the FATHER is using substances. It is well known to be very important that the mother not use any alcohol, other drugs, or even tobacco during pregnancy. Little is known about risks from father's use - but it appears that there is little health risk. Since it is one of those things that you cannot control at this point, I hope this information helps you to worry less!

There is good evidence that AFTER a baby is born, it is much better for that child to have stable parents. Stable means stable in many ways, including not excessively using alcohol and not using any drugs. This is something you and the father can work on and have a large effect on over the next several years.

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Response by:

Ted   Parran, MD Ted Parran, MD
Associate Professor of General Medical Sciences
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University