Intake of drugs by mother during pregnanacy can trouble child’s growth Children born to mothers who took cocaine during pregnancy are twice as likely to use tobacco and marijuana and develop substance abuse by their teenage years, a study has showed. The findings showed that in utero exposure to cocaine doubles the risk of tobacco and marijuana use as early as age 15 and substance abuse by 17. ALSO READ | Adopt ayurveda during pregnancy They are also more likely to handle stress in negative ways, especially if mistreated as a child, using fewer problem-solving skills and having less control over their emotions as well as more likely to become distracted or disengaged. “Children exposed to cocaine in the womb are more susceptible to addiction themselves because they are more likely to have trouble controlling their behaviours and emotions, which can lead to using substances more often and at earlier ages,” said Sonia Minnes, Associate Professor at the Case Western Reserve University in Ohio, US. In the study, appearing in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, such children exhibited poor coping strategies such as breaking rules, fighting, showing aggression, stealing and using drugs, tobacco and alcohol. At 15, more than 36 per cent of these teenagers were likely to have used a drug within the past month; at 17, it was 43 per cent — significantly higher than their peers who were not exposed to cocaine in utero.