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How To Spot & Prevent Drug Abuse In Pregnant Women - Cocaine & Heroin

Updated on August 22, 2010

COCAINE
Street Names: 
Blow, The Big C, Coke, Flake, Nose Candy, Paradise, Rock, Snow, Snuff, Toot, White, Crack.
What It Does: 
Cocaine, a white, crystalline powder, produces a rapid, but short-lived high. It increases energy, causes rapid heartbeat and heightens perceptions. It is a socially prestigious drug, supposedly preferred among the rich and famous. Some mistakenly believe cocaine to be an aphrodisiac.
How It's Done: 
Cocaine is generally snorted. It can be combined with volatile chemicals for "freebasing," or can be smoked in paste form. When injected in conjunction with other drugs it is called a "speedball."

How A User Looks & Acts:
Cocaine snorters don't have the bright eyes and the sweating associated with amphetamine use, but they are apt to suffer from runny noses. Cocaine bugs refer to an intense sensation very heavy cocaine abusers experience where they will frantically scratch at imaginary insects crawling beneath their skin.
Paraphernalia Used:
With razor blades on pieces of mirror or glass, cocaine users "cut," or portion out, the drug. They also use small spoons, straws and / or rolled dollar bills to hold the white crystalline powder as they snort it. Heavy users may inject cocaine, so needles may be a sign of use.
How Addictive / Dangerous Is It?
Although cocaine is considered only slightly physically addictive, use of this drug carries a high risk of psychological addiction, as well as a risk of hypertension, psychosis and paranoia. Cocaine is often diluted with local anaesthetics, such as Novocaine, and ordinary substances such as sugar. In some instances, dangerous adulterants might be added. After heavy and repeated use, cocaine withdrawal may lead to intense depression and suicide. If injected, cocaine could raise blood pressure, cause convulsions or death.
Effects On The Pregnancy:
Cocaine is known to cause placental abruption (where the placenta pulls away from the uterine wall prior to labor) which can lead to severe bleeding, premature birth, and fetal death. Babies usually have a smaller head, can have defects of the brain, kidneys and genitals; are more likely to die of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) and face growth problems later in life. They may also be born dependent, thus suffering from various withdrawal symptoms as muscle spasms, tremors, sleeplessness and feeding difficulties.

HEROIN
Street Names:

Big H, Brown Sugar, Crap, H, Horse, Junk, Scag, Smack, Stuff.
What It Does:
Heroin, a narcotic, produces a euphoric high while eliminating bodily aches and pains. When first injected, heroin causes a warm sensation of the skin and a feeling likened to sexual orgasm. This sensation, called a rush, is followed by a dreamy high. As the user's body becomes accustomed to the drug, it takes more and more of the drug to produce the same high.
How It's Done:
Heroin is generally injected into a vein in the arm. It is occasionally snorted, or injected under the skin (called "skin popping"). Heroin is sometimes sold to cocaine users for snorting or mixing into an injected "speed-ball."
How A User Looks & Acts:
Chronic heroin users have scars, known as "tracks," on their bodies, especially their arms. While under the influence, they will scratch themselves frequently and alternately doze and awaken. Although there is a general loss of appetite, "junkies" crave sweets. They seem lethargic and their pupils are constricted. Users may appear anxious, have poor coordination and slurred speech.
Paraphernalia Used:
The "works" required for heroin injection include: syringes, metal bottle caps, bent spoons, matches, medicine droppers, a tourniquet (such as string, rope, a belt), cotton and glassine bags. The bottle caps and spoons will have burn marks.
How Addictive / Dangerous Is It?
Heroin is very highly addictive, both physically and psychologically. Addicts face a number of dangers: they can get bad reactions from dirty needles (hepatitis is common) and impure heroin, and they can also overdose leading to death. Heroin withdrawal is extremely torturous. Withdrawal symptoms include anxiety, irritability, restlessness, depression, panic and confusion. Tremors, runny eyes and nose, severe cramps, diarrhea, nausea, insomnia, and/or flushed skin may also be present. Runny eyes and nose, severe cramps, diarrhea, nausea, insomnia, and/or flushed skin may also be present.
Effects On The Pregnancy:
Heroin use increases the statistical probabilities of low birth weight, premature birth, breathing difficulties, bleeding within the brain, low blood sugar, and infant death. Babies can be born addicted thus suffer from various withdrawal symptoms as convulsions and seizures, sneezing, trembling, diarrhea, vomiting, fever, irritability, sleep abnormalities and stiffness of the joints.

Read The Entire Guide To Spotting & Preventing Drug Abuse!

How To Spot & Prevent Drug Abuse In Pregnant Women
How To Spot & Prevent Drug Abuse In Pregnant Women - Marijuana & Glue Sniffing
How To Spot & Prevent Drug Abuse In Pregnant Women - Cocaine & Heroin
How To Spot & Prevent Drug Abuse In Pregnant Women - Amphetamines & Barbiturates
How To Spot & Prevent Drug Abuse In Pregnant Women - LSD & PCP

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    • Hal Licino profile imageAUTHOR

      Hal Licino 

      9 years ago from Toronto

      Many of the children die at birth, and perhaps it is much better that way. :(

    • skye2day profile image

      skye2day 

      9 years ago from Rocky Mountains

      very interesting I wonder if the babies make it or is it better they move on to heaven

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