Newborn babies: Meth's smallest victims

Some children never have a chance to flee meth-
amphetamine's grip.

Several studies have shown that unborn babies exposed
to meth are likely to suffer low birth weight, slow develop-
ment and probably socializing problems later in life.

born underweight compared to newborns whose mothers
didn’t use the drug.

The study went on to say that the long-term effects of
growth restriction can be serious. These children are
more likely to develop type 2 diabetes and metabolic
syndrome, a collection of heart attack risk factors such
as high blood pressure and obesity.

Dr. Rizwan Shah, in an article in the Casper, Wyo.,
Tribune, says a newborn has to learn six new functions
with perfection including breathing, keeping a heartbeat,
regulating sleep and learning how to eat.

"Every newborn is so well-organized, said Shah, medical director of the Regional Child Protection Center at Blank Children's Hospital in Des Moines, Iowa. "If it is a methexposed baby, those skills are going to be compromised. There will be a delay in achieving these functions."

Other medical professionals note that meth babies often have trouble sucking or swallowing and some have been observed sleeping for nearly 24 hours a day.

In comments to the Tribune, two adoptive mothers said their meth-exposed children -- both now four years old -- exhibit serious discipline problems.

"Some of the things that are happening are major outburst of anger ... he will scream and kick and want to cause pain to anyone for over an hour," said one of the mothers.

More on children:
Living with meth as they grow up

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Addicted?: Health care workers say a meth-user's fetus can inherit growth and developmental problems before being born.
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Living in Shadows
Video on the impact of drugs on children and families.
A Brown University study found that newborns whose
mothers used meth- amphetamine during pregnancy are 3.5 times more likely to be