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Illegal drugs in pregnancy

Using illegal or street drugs during pregnancy, including cannabis, ecstasy, cocaine and heroin, could have a serious effect on your unborn baby.

If you regularly use drugs, it's important to tackle this now you're pregnant. 

If you regularly use cocaine, heroin, or other similar drugs (opiates or opioids), do not stop or reduce the amount you take without speaking to a doctor first. It’s important to withdraw from these drugs in the right way to reduce the risk of problems for you and your baby.

Getting help

If you use drugs, it's important to seek help straight away so you can get the right advice and support.

You can get help from:

They will not judge you and can help you access a wide range of other services, such as antenatal and family support.

You can also contact FRANK for friendly, confidential drugs advice, including information on the different types of help available.

The FRANK helpline is open every day, 24 hours a day on 0300 123 6600.

The mothers and babies charity Tommy's also has advice about illegal drug use in pregnancy.

Find out how to get help for drug addiction

What if I took drugs before I knew I was pregnant?

If you took a drug without realising you were pregnant on a one-off occasion, try not to worry – it's unlikely to have affected your baby.

But if illegal drugs are part of your life, getting help can really improve the outlook for you and your baby.

Page last reviewed: 9 May 2023
Next review due: 9 May 2026