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Can Infants Be Addicts?

Discussion in 'General Substance Abuse Discussion' started by Rainman, May 19, 2015.

  1. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    Apparently if the mother was an addict during her pregnancy, since everything in her bloodstream gets to the unborn baby via the the placenta, there is a high probability that the baby will be born an addict. I stumbled into this news story:

    http://wreg.com/2015/01/22/mother-of-drug-addicted-infant-going-to-prison/

    What do you think? Should pregnant women undergo mandatory drug tests and jailed for child endangerment should it be discovered that they are using drugs while they are pregnant?
    blur92 likes this.
  2. 6up

    6up Community Champion

    I understand addiction being possible to grownups since they choose what they only like most. An infant cannot be an addict since there is nothing it is addicted to, before introducing them to many things. As an infant, it is usually the time we control whatever they take or do. We should not be giving them one kind of food in extra which will make them like it. Anything you used to like may not be available to them and they will not ask for it.
  3. blur92

    blur92 Senior Contributor

    I don't think the mother should be jailed for it. Putting drug offenders in prison does little to nothing to fix the addiction. If anything, these people come out worse because of the various drugs they can still get their hands on while locked up.
    @6up, the infant can be addicted to a drug if the mother was an addict because their body is exposed to whatever the mother uses. Drugs elicit a physical craving. Because the baby experienced these chemicals while in the womb they too develop a physical dependency for them. It's very sad.
    medievalmama likes this.
  4. d4rk3n

    d4rk3n Active Contributor

    I think children can be addicted to a certain drug if their mother is addicted, but I guess their addiction stays only on a physical level. Their brain isn't developed to get addicted emotionally. But still, their bodies will show after effects of addiction, which is quite saddening.
    blur92 likes this.
  5. blur92

    blur92 Senior Contributor

    That's a pretty good observation. I can see where you are coming from in saying that they do not become addicted emotionally. I think it can be possible, though, because the brain is in the process of developing. An addiction at that age may shape the brain to need it emotionally as well.
  6. sunflogun

    sunflogun Community Champion

    Babies can be born drug addicts or alcoholics if the mother was a drug addict or an alcoholic during pregnancy, it's just they way it is. That is why pregnant mothers have such a huge responsibility.
  7. d4rk3n

    d4rk3n Active Contributor

  8. missbishi

    missbishi Community Champion

    I agree with this. It's far better to send people to mandatory rehab and give them all the help they need to get clean. Prison solves absolutely nothing.
    blur92 likes this.
  9. thepieeatingjay

    thepieeatingjay Senior Contributor

    Yes, they can be addicted at birth, although correctly it's not an addiction since it wasn't their choice to use. It's referred to as Neonatal Withdrawal. Also, depending on the drug, it can affect them for a long time. Like if a woman drinks while she's pregnant, the baby can have Fetal Alcohol Syndrome for his/her entire life. It even affects the way they look!
  10. pwarbi

    pwarbi Community Champion

    Like others, well, most people have said, babies can, and are born addicts everyday.

    As for punishment for the mother's, I'd probably say help and support might do more good to be honest.
    blur92 likes this.
  11. sunflogun

    sunflogun Community Champion

    There two problems as far as I see it. One, the baby that is born an addict, that is unacceptable and will make his/her life different. As for the mother, what can we do? Awareness?
  12. dyanmarie25

    dyanmarie25 Community Champion

    The mother should be responsible for her unborn child. How could she use drugs during pregancy? Does she really want to endanger the life of her own baby? I don't think mothers who are abusing drugs while they are pregnant should be jailed, but they need counselling.
  13. AM1127

    AM1127 Member

    I believe that infants can be born being addicted to drugs and other substances. I personally have a friend who was born like this and it also greatly affected her appearance. Her brother was also born addicted to drugs and he suffers from developmental delays. I think this is possible because infants rely on the mother for everything while they're in the womb. Being exposed to drugs and alcohol while still developing can give infants co-dependency as they were used to receiving it while in the womb.
  14. AM1127

    AM1127 Member

    I forgot to mention that women should undergo mandatory drug testing while pregnant to reduce the occurrence of any complications or endangerment to the infant. I am on the fence about how they should be punished. I don't think sending them to jail would benefit neither the mom or the infant. I think that they should be forced into rehabilitation treatment with jail being the alternative for not complying.
  15. blastguardgear

    blastguardgear Senior Contributor

    It happens all the time, all it takes is exposure in utero. Yes over time, after the withdrawals are over the infants can loose the addiction, however the process is very very hard on them and makes them very vulnerable medically. Yes they refuse food as they hurt too damn bad to be able to take a bottle (and they aren't going to nurse their addicted mother, that's not okay). Often they need to be cared for by a special nurse or foster care worker who is experienced dealing with addicted newborns.
    medievalmama likes this.
  16. tarverten

    tarverten Senior Contributor

    Yes, they can be addicted to drugs. Anything that goes into the mother's body goes into the baby's as well. They withdrawal. The human body never simply "gets rid" of an addiction, it needs to detox first, and depending on what the addiction is, the process of detoxing can be quite painful.
  17. LilAnn

    LilAnn Community Champion

    I think it's horrible what they are doing to pregnant women. They need their rights protected and they need help overcoming the addiction. They DON'T need jail time.
  18. Totalarmordestine

    Totalarmordestine Senior Contributor

    Yes they can! I watched a documentary once of women who was a heroin addict and she was pregnant. When she had her baby, the baby was also addicted to heroin and the baby would FREAK out because of heroin withdrawals.

    Basically what you eat, drink, smoke, etc, the baby gets a taste of it. So yes, it is possibly for a baby to be addicted to a drug if the mother did the drug while she was pregnant with that baby.
  19. sunflogun

    sunflogun Community Champion

    It's a huge responsibility to become a parent and that is why mothers need to be very careful and consider if they are ready to sacrifice themselves for the well being of their unborn kids.
  20. blur92

    blur92 Senior Contributor

    I earlier posted that the mothers should be professionally treated for their addictions. A few others have agreed with me. Sending them to prison does nothing beneficial and will more than likely feed their problem. However, having proper treatment allows them to overcome their addiction and overall heal.