What Is Chemical Endangerment of a Child?

What Is Chemical Endangerment of a Child?Chemical endangerment of a child is the crime of exposing a child to an environment where controlled substances are produced or distributed; A crime where a person ‘knowingly, recklessly or intentionally causes and allows a child to be exposed to ingest or inhale, or to have contact with a controlled substance, chemical substance or drug paraphernalia’, according to the Alabama legal code.

Child endangerment laws were originally designed to protect children from dangerous environments where toxic drugs were produced, such as methamphetamine labs. These laws now penalize any person who exposing their child to chemical or controlled substances, including pregnant mothers who expose their fetus to these same substances.

What Are the Long-Term Effects of Using Drugs while Pregnant?

Pregnant women are urged to follow strict guidelines when it comes to what they put into their bodies. For women who abuse drugs (including alcohol) cutting these substances out of their life for 10 months is difficult, no matter how dedicated or confident they are in staying sober. Drug use, even occasional or one-time use, is immensely dangerous to both the unborn child and the mother. The fetus’s exposure to chemical substances can cause long-term, irreversible damage. Some examples of long-term damage incurred by drug use while pregnant include the following:

  • Marijuana use can cause miscarriage, low birth weight, premature birth, developmental delays, and behavioral and learning impairment.
  • Cocaine use increases the risk of miscarriage and can cause placental abruption, severe bleeding, preterm birth, fetal death, physical birth defects, stunted growth, learning difficulties, feeding difficulties, symptoms of withdrawal and kidney, genital, and brain defects.
  • Methamphetamine use while pregnant can cause low birth weight, premature labor, miscarriage, placental abruption, and addiction for the child. Brain defects and learning disabilities will likely result as well.
  • Alcohol use during pregnancy can lead to fetal alcohol syndrome and impair the child’s physical and mental development. Miscarriage, preterm birth, and stillbirth are all risks of alcohol use while pregnant, and other effects may include birth defects for the heart, brain, and other organs, hearing problems, behavioral problems and more.

Drug use while pregnant is so detrimental to a child. Mothers can protect themselves and their babies by getting help for drug abuse or addiction immediately.

Children Are Affected by a Parent’s Drug Use

Simply being exposed to an environment where a parent is using chemical or controlled substances is severely harmful to a child. A parent’s drug use will have lasting consequences on their child. These consequences can be physical, behavioral, psychiatric, educational, and emotional. Children are at higher risk of developing substance abuse problems themselves when exposed to their parent’s drug use and are more likely to be involved in domestic violence, divorce, unemployment, mental illness, legal problems, depression, eating disorders, anxiety, and suicide attempts.

Get Help for Drug Abuse or Addiction

If you are a parent who is ready to get help for your struggle with drug abuse or addiction, please call our toll-free number for help. We are here to talk 24 hours a day, and can offer you guidance, advice, and information on finding help to overcome drug abuse or addiction. Our recovery counselors can answer your questions, address your concerns and connect you to the treatment and recovery services that are right for you, if you are ready. You have many options to choose from and many people willing to get you the help you need. To learn more, call and speak with a counselor today. We’re here to help.