Alcohol use, tobacco use, and certainly many other forms of illicit drug use during pregnancy are big no-no’s. Not only do we know abuse and misuse of any of these substances will have negative health outcomes for the user, but when the user is pregnant, they also have detrimental impacts on the baby. What exactly are the implications for the baby? Tripling the risks of stillbirth is one.  

Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome 

Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) occurs when a mother constantly engages in the use of specific drugs causing the baby to experience withdrawal symptoms at birth. This can happen with opioids, alcohol, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, even caffeine. There is a range in severity of withdrawal the infant will face which is directly related to the mother’s use. The types of symptoms can also vary by her use and how her body breaks down each substance. The length the infant is able to remain inside the mother’s womb is another aspect leading to the infant’s withdrawal intensity. 

Other Symptoms of Substance Use During Pregnancy 

Stillbirth rates vary with the substance type. Tobacco use causes up to almost three times higher risk for stillbirth while marijuana use makes the stillbirth risk 2.3 times higher. Even passive exposure to tobacco can cause significant problems, as it has been linked to a 2.1 times higher likelihood of stillbirth. An infant born to an addicted mother can exhibit symptoms immediately or the infant may have a delay in symptoms for up to 14 days. Signs of withdrawal in an infant include:

Blotchy skin coloring
Excessive or high-pitched crying
Abnormal sucking reflex
Hyperactive reflexes
Increased muscle tone
Poor feeding
Rapid breathing
Sleep problems
Slow weight gain
Stuffy nose and sneezing
Birth defects
Low birth weight
Premature birth
Small head circumference

Finding Addiction Treatment Help In Tennessee 

How Substance Abuse Affects PregnancyOftentimes, those struggling with substance abuse and misuse issues are also engaging in other high-risk behaviors such as unprotected sex. Along with the increased risk for Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) that goes along with promiscuous and unsafe sex practices, there is also an increased risk of pregnancy. If you are addicted to alcohol or another illicit drug, finding help to overcome your addiction is an essential step to preserving your health and wellness and reducing your risk for making a decision that could involve an unexpected pregnancy. The medical detox and addiction alternative treatment center at Discovery Place offers programs that are specifically designed to support and assist those who want to beat their addictions. 

Should you be pregnant and also be addicted to any substance, Discovery Place’s  Tennessee addiction alternative treatment center has a team of caring and professional support staff who are here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call our Tennessee detox alternative treatment center anytime day or night at 1-800-725-0922 to discuss your situation and to have all your questions answered.


  • Discovery Place was the answer for my son. He did the 90 day and then the step down program and sober living. We give this organization 10 stars. They met my son where he was …emotionally, mentally, physically. They helped him put his life back on track. Discovery Place employees care about their guests. If your son, brother, nephew, grandson or husband needs excellent supportive care THIS is indeed the facility.

    Kim Morton
    Alumni Parent
  • I have remained sober and it is because of DP. DP is the best place there is, hands down. I keep everyone there in my prayers, and I encourage everyone there to take what they are practicing and do it in their lives, after.

    Roy Mantelli
  • Over the past year, I’ve been putting into actin what Discovery Place taught me, and I have experienced a complete perspective change of the world, and the people in it. I get to be a man of service and love today, and for that I am grateful to Discovery Place.

    Matt Kassay
  • Discovery Place means the world to me. They showed me the tools that I’ve tried to use everyday in my life to think less often of myself, and more frequently of others. I am learning to lend a hand when I am able and to have a honest and humble relationship with God and the people around me. Not only am I clean and sober, but also I am happy and fulfilled.

    Tommy Parker
  • Discovery Place and the men who work there made recovery attractive, and more importantly, fun. There is strength in the struggle. I am forever grateful for my time at Discovery Place.

    Creed McClellan
  • When I got to Discovery Place my whole life was in shambles, but I didn’t know it. I spent 6 months in their programs, participating in all three phases, and was met with kindness and love all along the way. It is unbelievable to me, where I am now relative to where I was when I arrived at DP.

    Lance Duke
  • I can never say enough good things about Discovery Place and the people who work there. Before checking in to DP, I was out of options and out of answers. Fortunately, Discovery Place has a solution. Taking suggestions from the staff at DP saved my life, and as a result, I’m now more content and hopeful about life. I’m grateful for Discovery Place showing me how to live a healthy life so that I can become a better man and help the next guy.”

    Tyler Buckingham

    Thinking About Rehab?

    Learn More About Our Alternative Residential Recovery Programs

      Alternative Drug & Alcohol Treatment Rehab
    • Admissions
    • About Us
    • Contact
    • Talk to someone about your options

      Talk to someone about your options

      Blue Pig Media