Skip Global navigation and goto content

It's a New Day in Public Health.

The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote, and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, and community efforts.

Skip MegaMenu and goto content
Megamenu requires javascript to be enabled in your browser.

Effects of Drug Use During Pregnancy

Contact the Maternal and Child Health Section

  •  850-245-4465



    Mailing Address

    4052 Bald Cypress Way, Bin A13 

    Tallahassee, FL 32399-1721 


When you are pregnant, everything that goes into your body has the potential to have an effect on your unborn baby.

Picture of young woman who is depressed Some things you take into your body can have harmful effects on your pregnancy. Smoking, drinking alcohol, abusing prescription drugs or using illicit drugs can all pass through the placenta and have a negative effect on you and your baby.

Illicit Drugs
Illicit drug use during pregnancy may cause miscarriage, preterm labor, birth defects, stillbirth, withdrawal symptoms in the baby after birth, a higher risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), poor fetal growth rate, and cognitive and behavioral problems. Women who inject drugs are at a higher risk of contracting HIV, which can be passed on to their baby.

For more information on the effects of illicit drugs and help quitting, visit:

NIH Logo, National Institute on Drug Abuse: The Science of Drug Abuse and Addiction


For information on the ways to be healthy before becoming pregnant, visit the Preconception Health page.

For information on other ways to be healthy during your pregnancy, visit the Pregnancy page.

Prescription Medication
Opioid drugs and other narcotics that are used during pregnancy can cause serious withdrawal symptoms in newborn babies.

For more information on the effects of opioid drugs and other narcotics visit the Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome page.

Alcohol use during pregnancy can cause physical deformities, heart defects, mental retardation, and lifelong physical and behavioral problems. There is no safe amount of alcohol a woman can drink while she is pregnant.

For more information on the effects of alcohol during pregnancy and help on quitting drinking alcohol, visit The Florida Center for Early Childhood.

Cigarette smoking passes nicotine and other dangerous chemicals to your baby. Smoking also increases the risk of a premature birth or stillbirth.

For more information on the effects of smoking during pregnancy and help on quitting smoking, visit Tobacco Free Florida.

Additional Resources

Born Drug Free Florida: GET HELP 1-800-945-1355
This is an initiative to raise awareness about babies born exposed to prescription drugs. The campaign educates expectant mothers about the importance of discussing prescription drug abuse with their doctors and to offer assistance.

Family Health Line: 1-800-451-2229

CDC: Substance Abuse During Pregnancy

Treatment Resources

Treatment Referral Helpline: 1-800-662-4357. Free and confidential information in English and Spanish for individuals and family members facing substance abuse and mental health issues. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): This website offers resources about substance use, behavioral health and treatment locations.