Children of drug addicts

Foetal damage from drug use
Drug threat to the young
Acquired drug addiction
Addicted babies
Babies born to crack addicts tend to suffer low birth weight, brain damage and malformation. As they grow, they do not respond to usual human signals such as eye contact and smiling, have difficulty learning and fail to understand simple problems. They ignore toys and do not play, have no concept of right and wrong, do not make friends, are easily frustrated and often violent. The data on ice babies is similar but more alarming. They tend to be asocial and incapable of bonding; such children are more likely to be sociopaths.

Damage to the foetus from cocaine exposure could include prenatal strokes and lasting brain damage, premature birth, retarded foetal growth, breathing lapses, absence of part of the gut, structural abnormalities in genital and urinary organs and seizures after birth. Babies that had been exposed to marijuana are likely to be smaller than normal and to show such neurological difficulties as an abnormal startle reflex, an increase in tremors and an inability to shut out disturbing stimuli. At high levels of use, alcohol can cause serious malformation and at moderate levels of use it is associated with an increased risk of mental or physical damage to the foetus.

One survey in the USA showed at least 11% of women in the sample hospitals had used illegal drugs during pregnancy. The data suggests that 375,000 newborns a year face the possibility of health damage from their mother's drug abuse. There are 200,000 cocaine babies a year alone. A New York City Health Department official estimated that births to drug-abusing mothers had increased there by about 3,000% in the past ten years.

Children of crack addicts are at extreme risk of neglect and abuse. In one report 73% of all children who died of battering in New York City in 1988 had parents who used cocaine or crack.

Aggravated by 
(E) Emanations of other problems