The impact of chemical dependency is far-reaching, cutting across the global population like a plague or epidemic. A close look at its victims makes us realize that even the unborn and young children are not spared. Many women who are addicted to alcohol and other drugs are unduly exposing their unborn babies to drugs and alcohol of all sorts thus putting their lives on the line. Meanwhile, the list of child abuses is also growing; most of them are children whose parents are using drugs.
There is definitely a connection between Drug Addiction and neglect. The only state in the United States that will prosecute a pregnant woman for using drugs while pregnant is South Carolina. If she is found guilty, she will not only lose her baby to Social Services, but she will be prosecuted for Child Neglect and harm. What is so alarming is the fetus becomes addicted in utero and upon using as an adult, teenager, or adolescent, he or she is possibly in full blown drug relapse. When adults are exposed to drugs and are physically and mentally impaired-imagine the effect on a fetus or newborn. Addictive substances can retard organ growth and development thus causing severe medical conditions once born. Scientific and medical efforts are being exerted to improve the technologies concerning early detection and treatment of fetuses in uterus.
What makes the matter worse is the fact that these children never planned to be born to a mother who is an active drug addict. They are just innocent victims, helpless and who have no power to neither claim nor protect their rights and their lives. It is up to us adults to give them a legacy of good health that we can start now. First by providing Alcohol and Drug treatment for their moms so children can stay with their parents and begin a life together as a family in recovery.
40,000 babies are born every year with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, which is the leading cause of mental retardation in our country. It is 100% preventable. Many, if not all, states will intervene on the child’s behalf if the child tests positive for drugs at the time of their birth. For the sake of mom and child intervening early and offering treatment for mom that includes her infant is best.
Withdrawal Stage After Born
Once the child is born, there are numerous side effects and health risks the child must endure in the first weeks, even months of its little life.[hr] [twocol_one] [unordered_list style=”tick”]
- Club foot
- Skeletal Defects
- Breathing Problems
- Motor Controls
- Poor Hand to Eye Coordination
- Sitting Up with without support
- Inability to roll from side to side
- Poor Appetite
- Reflux Problems
- Restless Sleeping
- Cry is high-pitched and very loud
- Sensitivity to light
- Central nervous system damage
- Lung Problems
- Stomach Problems
- Increased chances of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
- Trouble eating and digesting food
- Difficulty sleeping
- Sleeping too much
- Instability of head
- Lack of muscle tone or too much muscle
- Narrowing of blood vessels due to reduced blood flow and oxygen
- Very Clingy
- Trouble focusing on one object
- Low weight throughout life
- Reduce in development
- Addictive Behavior
- Motor Development Delayed
- Abnormalities of the heart
- Eye Problems
- Bleeding on the brain
This is a very sad however this is the cold reality for these very small victims of this devastating disease of alcoholism and drug addiction.[/unordered_list] [/twocol_one_last] [hr]
The Future Road for the Drug Addicted Newborn
The road ahead for the drug-addicted newborn may or may not be a normal life as far as physical aspects, if the mom does not receive treatment and get well. The future of the child depends on if the pregnant woman keeps the child and seeks a drug free life. Many times if a drug addict seeks out sobriety but relapses, everything can change, especially if the drug addict does not seek out help at once. In homes where there is addiction, family life is unpredictable and may cause trauma and confusion among children. Failure of parents to communicate or explain their behavior to their children may be misinterpreted by the children as the addiction being their fault.
There are children who blame themselves for their parents’ chemical dependency. Some withdraw so as not to trigger any parent to use drugs or alcohol. Others feel anger, fear, and rebellion and eventually may increase social activity, often times with the wrong crowd, to compensate for poor/weak family relations.
Children’s first encounters are with their immediate families. Children that have loving, present parents are usually more likely to live happy, healthy lives. If they are neglected and/or surrounded by family members who are addicted to drugs, the risk of them developing drug addiction or alcoholism increases dramatically.
Domestic violence is another common consequence of parental drug use in which the usual victims are the children whether they are simply witnesses or directly abused physically, sexually, psychologically and emotionally. A child‘s health may also suffer as a consequence of stress and neglect. Again, experiencing domestic violence as a child can cause that child to grow up vilent and abusive towards their loved ones, continuing the generational cycle of addiction and related disorders.