Drug Addicted Babies

Decent Essays

Keelana Char
English 155
Ms. Mendiola
19 September 2012

Drug Addicted Babies The use of illicit drugs and abuse of alcohol exact a steep price from our society. Substance abuse is a factor in many serious ills such as crime. More upsetting, however, is the affects that it has on children born affected from their dependent mothers. The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates that 60 percent of women of childbearing age consume alcoholic beverages despite the fact that alcohol consumption during pregnancy is implicated in a wide range of birth defects and developmental disabilities, including mental retardation, physical abnormalities, and visual and auditory impairments. (Nevitt, 1996) Since most drug users are in the child bearing …show more content…

Because lack of emotional stimulation and feedback can literally turn off the infant production of growth hormone, these cases are often the most severe. Severe non-organic failure to thrive is potentially fatal. Infant malnutrition develops starvation or overwhelming sepsis. Non-organic failure to thrive is associated with severe maternal depression or other serious mental illness, maternal substance abuse, or severe sociopathic personality disorder. (Van, 1977) Infants who were exposed to alcohol and/or drugs may exhibit this disorder, which is characterized by a loss of weight, or slowing of weight gain, and a failure to reach developmental milestones. This can be due to medical and/or environmental factors. The infant’s behavior includes poor sucking, difficulty in swallowing, and distractibility. Many of these children live in chronically dysfunctional families, which place them at greater risk of parental neglect. (Van, 1977) Within seventy-two hours after birth, many infants who were exposed prenatally to drugs experience withdrawal symptoms, including tremors and irritability. Their skin may be red and dry; they may have a fever, sweating, diarrhea, excessive vomiting, and even seizures. Such

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