Aside from crying, they have no means for expressing their experiences. For babies born addicted to drugs like crystal meth, they are trapped within a very adult series of physical symptoms. Unable to express what they are going through, babies demonstrate their discomfort in the only ways they can.
- Unusual cry; very high-pitched and distressed
- Scratching own self
- Difficulties sleeping
- Need for round the clock holding or close physical sensations
Effects of Meth Addiction on Babies
- Stunted Growth
- Developmental Problems
- Behavioral Problems
- Dulled Stress Responses
Ongoing addiction after childbirth plays a significant role in how meth can influence a baby born addicted. In homes where the addicted mother and/or other family members have gotten sober and stabilized, a child responds to stressful factors and environment normally. For children enduring cyclical addiction and abusive environments, their coping mechanisms suffer.
Children whose mothers used methamphetamine like crystal meth when the baby was in utero are more likely to develop mood disorders. By age three, meth babies will demonstrate depression and anxiety. ADHD, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, can develop by age 5. Problematically, these behaviors become more about “acting out”, showing that the children have adopted the character of addiction which is compulsivity and impulsivity. Long term studies are being conducted to determine how babies born addicted to meth change through their adolescent years.