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Can Infants Be Addicts?

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

  1. Sparkster

    Sparkster Community Champion

    In the UK a few years ago, there was a campaign which showed a baby sat down with a diaper on. Next to that baby was a tiny rock of crack cocaine. The caption underneath said "this is enough crack cocaine to get a baby addicted for life". Yes, unborn babies can become addicted to drugs and can suffer extremely painful withdrawal symptoms as a result. I don't think the mothers should be jailed for it though, I fail to see how that would help. I just think they should be given the help they need in order to care for their child.
    blur92 likes this.
  2. Rholm

    Rholm Member

    Addiction before, and even just in the personality of the mother, during pregnancy can cause changes in how the baby's brain forms and can cause an addictive personality or defects. Anyone who is unable to give up their addiction should seek help before deciding to become a mother, for the betterment of their child. A pregnant woman should always consider what she puts in her body, as it isn't simply herself she's taking care of nor just her life she's affecting directly, anymore.
    blur92 likes this.
  3. mwin43587

    mwin43587 Active Contributor

    Well I don't think that will happen. The child inside an addicted mother's womb may die if the mother is taking prohibited drugs. And in this case, the mother should be jailed. Well I think an addicted woman may stop and realize that what she is doing is not good, when she gets pregnant because our babies can change the way we think.
  4. blur92

    blur92 Senior Contributor

    Sadly, having a child doesn't always change how they think. They don't always stop which is why this is an issue in the first place :/

    I think jailing them is a bit harsh because they obviously have a problem. It's an addiction. More often than not a person can't just stop due to the fact that the substance being abused has them physical and mentally hooked. This is what it means to be addicted. The better option would be to get these women professional help like at a rehabilitation center.
  5. Sparkster

    Sparkster Community Champion

    I agree with this. Jailing them is not the answer, it's the child who needs to be thought of in cases like this. Taking the baby's mother away from them as soon as they've come into this world is not going to do any good for the baby. Also, I doubt I need to point out some of the things that go on at care homes and suchlike.
  6. mwin43587

    mwin43587 Active Contributor

    I agree with you, what kind of mother are they! Some already have children but won't even realize that what they had been doing is destroying their family.
  7. sunflogun

    sunflogun Community Champion

    The main issue is to spot those cases blur because if they were identified I am pretty sure that the authorities would have a word and the power to zeal for the health of that innocent baby.
    blur92 likes this.
  8. kassie1234

    kassie1234 Community Champion

    I don't think jail time is the right answer. Like others have said I think all it would do for the addicted mother is compound the problem and ultimately make things significantly worse. I do feel for the addicted children though. You don't get to choose that - at least for us, as adults with addictions (either past or present), we made the choices, as much as we may regret those choices now. It just really breaks my heart... I don't know if that has to do with the fact that now I'm a mother, and I cannot imagine ever doing anything to harm my child.
  9. JoshPosh

    JoshPosh Community Champion

    Yes it is true. You can pass your addiction to your unborn babies. It has been known for a long time that, that can happen. It's happening right now as we speak.
  10. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    Pregnant women should not really use any drugs since it could affect their babies one way or another. maybe not to be addicted too like them but could have health problems. It will not be good for addicted pregnant women to be jailed since it will be bad for their babies too growing up without moms.
  11. medievalmama

    medievalmama Community Listener Community Listener

    My adopted son had to withdraw from cocaine when he was born. I don't think his birth mom is a "bad person." Addiction is a disease. I know some of her story and have great compassion for her. However, it is also true that he still suffers from the effects of his drug exposure. His central nervous system, as well as much of the executive functioning of his brain, was greatly impaired.

    I don't agree with mandatory drug screening for all pregnant women, and simply jailing addicts is not a solution. What we can do is continue support for these children, and hopefully they won't have to repeat the mistakes of their birth parents. I believe that issues such as poverty and access to quality education, as well as support for pregnant women and struggling families is needed, along with access to addiction/alcoholism treatment. Rather than shame and blame, we can help and heal.
  12. blur92

    blur92 Senior Contributor

    What do you mean by spotting those cases? I'm under the impression that any baby born as an addict results from the mother abusing the given drug. I don't think we can narrow it down any farther than that and all cases where this happens should necessitate the mother getting professional help.
  13. Sparkster

    Sparkster Community Champion

    Can I ask why it is that you don't agree with mandatory drug screening for all pregnant women? Is it because of what happens as a consequence under the current procedure/legislation, or is it just that you don't agree with it in general? Or is, there perhaps another reason? This ties in with what sunflogan said about identifyingthose cases:

    I don't know whether they do mandatory drug screening for pregnant women in UK now or not. They didn't back when I had children.
  14. rcdpink

    rcdpink Active Contributor

    Wow. That's an interesting and yet humorous topic. It's humorous just to think of a crazed baby getting all frantic with drug urges. I think it's possible yes to have an addict baby due to pre-labour drug activities of the mother. Mothers should be responsible at all times, and if they can't be, they should be locked away. How can we destroy our kids like that?
  15. Sparkster

    Sparkster Community Champion

    How on Earth is thinking of a baby getting frantic with drug urges humorous in any way, shape or form? You must have a sick sense of humor and how is locking these baby's mothers away going to help?
  16. blur92

    blur92 Senior Contributor

    So I came across an article that reminded me of this thread. I figured I'd just leave this here:

    It's not the same as a mother abusing drugs while pregnant. If anything, this is much worse because she directly administered a harmful substance to the toddler. Sadly, the kid dies. She risked him getting an addiction and his life. In a case like this I think prison time is acceptable.
  17. sunflogun

    sunflogun Community Champion

    I mean that if the cases were identified when the mother is pregnant she would have to test to prove that she is clean or else be arrested while in pregnancy, seems more than fair to me.
  18. estalucy

    estalucy Member

    You are spot on there. Only on a physical level, especially if it's opioid based drugs like heroin, methadone. I feel strongly about this, the poor innocent little baby coming into this world suffering with physical withdrawal symptoms is disgusting. If you are an addict you should not get pregnant. Simple as that. If your on addictive drugs as woman and having sex then use protection! Also addicts lives are often chaotic, their whole daily life involves drugs so how can they possibly bring up a baby properly? They can't. I knew two women on heroin when pregnant, both ended up with the kids taken away from them because they were not looking after them, even spending their child benefit on drugs and shop lifting nappies. What a great start in life for those poor babies. ...
  19. estalucy

    estalucy Member

    Do if you don't think the baby should be taken away from the addict, what should happen? A woman on heroin or methadone can't even breast feed, and an addicts life is chaotic, heroin addicts choose heroin over anything else, including their family and loved ones so it's very unlikely that as soon as they have a baby they stop taking drugs and turn their life around! I know women that were heroin addicts and the babies had to stay in hospital longer because of the physical effects of the drug the mother was taking. both ended up having the child taken into care because they weren't being looked after and the mother was still using, child benefit being spent on gear rather than nappies etc so they shop lifted instead. Yeah great parenting...
  20. E.Mil

    E.Mil Community Champion

    I do believe that if a mother is using drugs when she is pregnant, the baby will be affected and can have health issues. I'm not sure if the baby can be addicted to the drugs, but it will have an impact on the child's life. Some babies by a miracle can come out with good health and not have a reaction to the drug use.