New JAMA Study Reveals Sharp Increase in Pregnant Pot Use

According to a recently released study by the Journal of American Medical Association has revealed that the percentage of pregnant women who take marijuana has increased from 2002 when it was 2.4% to 2014 when it was 4%.  This survey was conducted throughout the years and integrates both the results of self-reported use to medical professionals as well as toxicology screenings.  The facilitators of the study add a disclaimer that the actual percentages are probably much higher due to the likelihood that users will neglect to self-report and the temporary nature of the drug revealing itself in toxicology screenings.

This is a Bad Idea

There are numerous reasons why you do not want to smoke marijuana (or take edible pot) during pregnancy. Simply put: it harms the baby.  Studies have shown that the outcome of marijuana use during pregnancy often leads to:

  • low birth weight
  • premature birth
  • smaller head circumference
  • smaller body length

It has also been shown that after birth, babies that were exposed to marijuana during pregnancy display unexpected responses to visual stimuli, a higher likelihood of trembling, and higher pitched cries.

Marijuana’s Growing Reputation as a “Harmless” Drug

This entry highlights another instance of why marijuana’s reputation as “harmless” should probably be dialed back considerably.  We’ve written here about the many risks of marijuana use and some of the studies that have shown that teenagers who abuse marijuana display cognitive challenges later in life.  Marijuana also has been known to exacerbate mood and behavioral disorders like anxiety, depression and trauma related symptoms.  On top of these data points is our experience in treating recovering individuals for decades and the conclusion that marijuana acts as a gateway drug to harder substances that can lead to more serious consequences.

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