A shocking video shows heartbreaking effects of babies born addicted to drugs.
WARNING! This video will be quite confronting for many people. I myself, found it hard to watch.
More than 130,000 children have been born in the US that are hooked on drugs
In this video six-month-old Braxton Jones shakes uncontrollably after being born dependant on methadone. His mum Clorissa has been enrolled in a hospital program for mums battling addiction.
She said: “I know Braxton saved my life in the fact that I was able to stay clean through my whole pregnancy and I’m still clean right now.
“It’s him I look forward to every day.”
Clorissa said: “I was in labour, in the bathroom shooting heroin about to give birth to my child.
“Nothing matters except for getting high. When I’m getting high, nothing matters, I’m very selfish, I’m self-centred.”
Lauren Jansson, of the Johns Hopkins University Hospital in Baltimore said: “If you don’t provide these services to pregnant women at a time when they need it, they won’t get access and what will happen is you’ll have unfortunate women that don’t ever access substance abuse treatment.
“They deliver infants that are removed from their custody, they wind up with significant health problems because they’re continuing to use. Those are the horror stories, that costs much more down the line than providing this care during pregnancy that’s comprehensive and addresses all the needs of the mother, her pregnancy and then the infant after birth.”
Neonatologist Sean Loudin said babies, who are just days old, suffer the same way an adult does during withdrawal.
“Abdomen pain, explosive diarrhoea, tremors that can shake their whole bed, a lot of abdominal cramping,” he said.
“All you have to do is ask any adult that’s taken opiates or heroin, and ask them if they’re ready to quit cold turkey, ask them if they’re ready for that. There’s no adult that wants to sit in the foetal position pooping on themselves in the shower and experiencing that pain.
“That’s what these babies are going through if we don’t help them.”
Neonatal nurse Sara Murray said the sound of babies crying can be heard through closed doors. You’ve never heard anything quite like it.
“They call it a high-pitch cry but it’s something you really can’t describe,” Ms Murray explains.
“If you’ve ever heard a child who gets hurt, it’s just an intense hurt cry.”
President Barack Obama took the lead on the issue in October, describing it as a “crisis” that was “taking lives”.
The problems for these babies occur as soon as they’re born and the umbilical cord is cut; after months of receiving the drug, the supply is cut off and they’re not getting these substances delivered anymore.
“They go through withdrawal because the delivery via placenta is enough. It’s like quitting cold turkey,” said Dr Loudin.
“Usually [the drug abuse] is over a prolonged period of time, but there is a lot of brain development that occurs in that foetus in the first three months of pregnancy.
“They’ve [mothers] been taking all of these things and frankly that’s when all of these nerves and connections are being laid down in the developing foetus brain.
“These women think it’s a big surprise their babies will go through withdrawal.”
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