Doctors are now treating babies addicted to the illicit drug ICE.
The addiction of the babies occurred because the mother used ICE whilst pregnant and the baby was born with the addiction.
Medical treatment of babies addicted to ICE is very difficult as they don’t sleep well, feed as well, grow as well, are more difficult to comfort, cry all the time and are irritable.
Withdrawal from ICE addiction is one of the most difficult to treat as there is little information about its effects on babies.
The number and severity of babies experiencing withdrawal from ICE, heroin and amphetamines is increasing. However, methadone addicted babies are more common.
The use of illicit drugs by pregnant women increased the risk of the baby being born addicted, prematurely, with low birth weight and a range of pregnancy complications.
Other concerns include the ongoing impact on the child being reared in an environment where illicit drugs are used.
(Source: Sunday Mail, Adelaide, 29 April 2007)
DRUG ADVISORY COUNCIL COMMENTS-
Babies of addicted pregnant women need to be protected.
Pregnant women that use illicit drugs need special detoxification and rehabilitation programs to deal with the addiction of both the mother and their babies.
One of the major benefits of diverting women of child bearing age into detoxification and rehabilitation when they are known illicit drug users is that innocent children will also be protected.