Alarming Increase in Drug Affected Babies
An Australian study has found that the number of newborns suffering from drug withdrawal symptoms is now 40 times higher than in 1980.
These babies are at greater risk of neglect and being taken into care.
EVERY year between 1980 and 2005 there was an average 16 per cent increase in children born with neonatal withdrawal syndrome.
4 babies in every 1000 births are born suffering the effects of illicit drug use and this represents about 1000 babies every year in Australia.
The mothers had already contacted hospitals for mental health and drug use issues so the risks were identified.
The Telethon Institute for Child Health Research that conducted the study recommended mothers be given early intervention intensive support and substance use treatment.
(Source: Science Daily 24/4/09 report on an article in Pediatrics journal).
DRUG ADVISORY COUNCIL COMMENTS-
Our council supports illicit drug rehabilitation to get mothers free of their drug use to limit the damage to babies of drug using mothers.
Health professionals should use the first contact to initiate drug detoxification and rehabilitation for the benefit of both the mother and the baby.
Babies born with neonatal withdrawal syndrome suffer intense pain, vomiting, diarrhea, uncontrolled crying and extreme irritability.
There are grave concerns for these babies that are taken home by mothers still in their addiction.
Court ordered and supervised drug rehabilitation that leads to a drug free life would benefit both the mother and her baby.
THE DRUG ADVISORY COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA SUPPORTS-
More detoxification & rehabilitation that gets illicit drug users drug free.
Court ordered and supervised detoxification & rehabilitation.
Less illicit drug users, drug pushers and drug related crimes.