Based on misinformation that frequently appears in the media, many people believe that pregnant people who use any amount of a criminalized drug or alcohol will inevitably harm or even kill their fetus. But media hype is not the same as science, and popular news reports have misrepresented the facts about prenatal exposure to drugs. Read NAPW's updated fact sheet to learn what experts say about cocaine, methamphetamine, opioids, cannabis, and alcohol and whether they pose an inherent risk to the health of a fetus.
Research tells us that there is no scientific evidence of unique, certain, or irreparable harm for fetuses exposed to these substances in utero. Additionally, no criminalized substance has been found to cause pregnancy loss.
Misinformation related to substance use is frequently used to prosecute pregnant people, and in this post-Roe reality, these prosecutions will likely increase.