Babies Born with Drug Addiction
Babies born with drug addiction always have a hard time of it, but for a baby born with an addiction to crack cocaine, life can be especially grim. That's because the effects of crack cocaine last longer and are far more devastating.
But I Only
Used a Little
In an interview with the New York Times, Dr. Stephen Piazza, assistant neonatalogist and director of the Westchester County Medical Center in Valhalla, New York, said that taking even a small amount of crack cocaine can damage a woman's unborn child.
The drug goes through the mother's placenta and is turned into a fat-soluble substance. It becomes too heavy to leave and circulates over and over again in the baby’s system. The baby continues getting high.
The Deadly Efffects of Crack Cocaine
Crack blocks hunger and fatigue, so a mother who abuses crack won't realize when her body - and her unborn child - need nutrition and rest. Plus crack cocaine raises blood pressure and constricts blood vessels throughout the body. This blocks the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the baby. Your unborn child can actually suffer a fetal stroke.
Both miscarriages and stillbirths are common complications of using crack cocaine during pregnancy. Fetal death is ten times more likely among women who abuse cocaine than women who don't.
Babies Born With Drug Addiction
Most babies born with drug addiction usually withdraw from the drugs after about 72 hours. But with crack cocaine, it's different. Babies born addicted to this drug don’t start suffering withdrawal symptoms until they are about eight weeks old. Then the withdrawal process can last for up to two years.
Other Symptoms of Withdrawal
Even when they are not hot, these babies will sweat and give off an offensive odor. They will have breathing problems and will snort, like they have allergies or a permanent cold.
These babies are extremely irritable; they can't stand loud noises, such as a ringing phone or blaring radio, and they don't like bright lights. Many of these babies stiffen up, and are unable to bend.
A Grim Future
Many babies exposed to drugs prenatally wind up in foster care because their mothers are unable to care for them. One case worker stated that often up to half the children under the age of two who enter the foster care program show positive signs of crack or cocaine addiction.
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