Addiction to Crack Cocaine
The Risks to the Fetus
When crack first appeared on the world scene in the early eighties, few users were afraid to believe he would have devastating effects. At the end of the day, is not funny smoked in glass pipes or snuff mixed with cigarettes or marijuana? The street people say that the crack was a harmless drug. What is certain is that it was much cheaper than heroin or other forms of cocaine, and this made it possible for even those earning minimum wage could buy. The euphoria produced by the crack appeared to be worthwhile, no matter what the cost was.
However, medical journals began to publish cases that proved the terrible dangers of using crack, cases of drug-addicted pregnant women giving birth creatures affected by the drug. The doctors began to warn of the dire effects it can have the crack in the fetus. Each year was dramatically increasing the number of children with defects, some for life. A doctor said: “With the advent of crack, the number of underweight babies and sick rose from outstanding way.”
The data collected in areas where crack consuming corroborate what the doctor said. In 1988, the National Association for Perinatal Addiction Research and Education, an organization dedicated to research and teaching about perinatal addiction, conducted a survey in 36 U.S. hospitals, according to which now 11% of U.S. newborns together, ie, to 375,000 babies a year, will affect the drug during pregnancy. The New York Times says that between 1986 and 1988 “the number of newborns in New York City to give them positive drug tests, mainly cocaine addiction has almost quadrupled, going from 1,325 to 5,088. ”
The Horrific Effects
“Mothers who use crack are those who are less fit,” said Dr. Richard Fulroth specialist at Stanford University. They come when they are about to give birth, and one holds his breath while waiting to see what is going to be born. “Too often what has been developed in the matrix of crack cocaine is not pleasant. The crack can cause spasms in blood vessels of the baby for long periods and limiting the flow of vital oxygen and nutrients. It can affect fetal growth, including the size of the head and brain. Often produces seizures or other, and birth defects in the kidneys, genitals, intestines and spine. There is also the danger that the placenta will detach from the uterus and causes the death of the fetus and perhaps that of the mother.
When a baby-crack (of the drug-addicted mothers) physicians and nurses can tangibly see the ravages of drugs. One report described a child such as “just a piece of meat with a head the size of a tangerine and some members such as chips.” On several occasions, Discover magazine reported, were born cocaine babies “who would have missed the middle and ring finger of one hand.
Dan R. Griffith, Ph.D. in developmental psychology at Northwestern University, said babies born to cocaine-tend to be born with “a very fragile and nervous system that is overloaded with ease.” Tend to be hypersensitive and irritable, and inconsolable crying at the slightest provocation. The doctor said that ‘a sudden noise or change of position, including the one you talk or you look, you can cry for a long time. Other obvious effects of the drug causes damage to the newborn, “says Dr. Griffith-may be the fact that the babies sleep soundly for 90% of the time to be isolated from any external stimulus. Although they do not wake up undress, they talk, they rock or physically handle them. ”
The doctor said that such neurological problems may continue for months, causing mental and physical frustration the mother at a time when it is necessary to form a bond of love and attachment between her and her son. The doctor added: “The baby tends to avoid the mother and become very irritable when she tries to meet their needs. The mother is isolated from the small and annoying because it does not correspond to their attention. ” This behavior by the baby and the consequent resentment of the mother often ends in abuse against children.
As the condition of these babies is so precarious, their hospital stay can range from a few weeks and sometimes months. However, often the reason for a longer stay is not so much the child’s status as the mother’s attitude toward his son. Many times the mother simply leaves her child in the hospital leaving state custody. Concerned by this situation, a doctor lamented: “I can not understand those mothers who do not ask for their children and never return.” Some do not even stay long enough to name the baby and the nurses who have to do it instead. A floor nurse supervisor said: “The most remarkable and frightening the consumption of crack is the undermining of the maternal instinct.” Certain hospital even had to send telegrams to the indifferent parents to sign the authorization autopsy when children die. Would you believe it?
Due to the workload of nurses who have these babies can not receive the love and attention they need. In some cases, when you can not immediately find homes to adopt them, people are kind and loving children who have volunteered their time, a few hours each week to care for abandoned babies. A member of hospital staff said: “They feed, sing, play with them, swaying and change diapers. Treat them as if they were their own children. This treatment is very good for children. Some are here a long time. ”
What the future holds for these infants with cocaine? The fact that his IQ is below normal present a problem for teachers. A specialist in this area said: “Due to their physical and developmental abnormalities, these children are going to be a problem for themselves and society for forty or fifty years.” Indeed, the crack has left an indelible mark on society.
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