By: Jennifer Lea Reynolds
December 30, 2015
The birth of a baby should be a joyous occasion for a family. However, over the past decade, over 130,000 babies in the United States have been born with drug addictions, making the experience anything but happy. Many times, the babies – if they’re lucky enough to survive – shake uncontrollably, one of the many outward physical expressions of being born addicted to drugs.(1)
According to a video posted by the global news community, AJ+, the problem arises when the baby’s mother uses opiates while pregnant. The National Institute on Drug Abuse explains opioids as medications that are taken to relieve pain. Morphine, oxycodone and hydrocodone fall into this category, although the list is extensive.(1,2)
Heroin is one such drug – and a powerful, highly-addicting one at that. Because it crosses the blood-brain barrier very quickly, people using it are said to experience an intense “rush.” In addition to helping to alleviate pain, heroin – considered a semi-synthetic opiate – is known to create a state of bliss among users.(3)
Shooting heroin while in labor; accidentally suffocating a baby while high
Sadly, heroin is just what Clorissa Jones was shooting while in labor.
“I was in labor, in the bathroom shooting heroin, about to give birth to my child,” she says. Her child, a boy named Jacoby, was indeed born addicted to heroin. He joins his younger brother Braxton, who was born addicted to methadone.(1)
She’s not alone.
Another mom, Reanne Pederson, says that her baby died when she accidentally suffocated him. She makes no excuses for the reason behind the horrible act: She was high when she did it. “You’re so clouded when you’re using and when you’re an addict, you think everything you’re doing is OK …”(1)
Of the problem, pediatrician Dr. Lauren Jansson says, “It is a crisis; it is [an] epidemic. The opioid crisis in this country is continuing to expand exponentially.”(1)
What causes this terrible epidemic? Our over-medicated society, perhaps?
Which, of course, begs the question: Why? How is it possible that it’s gotten so out of control, especially when the U.S. law mandates that hospitals report drug-dependent babies to social services (which, by the way, clearly isn’t happening). How is it that since 2010, at least 110 infant deaths have occurred, which could all have been prevented?(1)
Naturally, every person’s reason for turning to opioids differs, as does their decision to turn to them for recreational, rather than medical, purposes.
But let’s face it, the United States is an over-medicated society. It’s no secret that prescriptions are given to patients like water, with the medical system opting to make a profit off their patients instead of truly getting to the root cause of their health problems. Knee pain? Here’s a pill. Get lots of headaches? Take this. On and on it goes; pill-popping is almost an accepted norm in society for those in pain. Overall, people have easy access to medications which they could ultimately become addicted to and use inappropriately.
Drugs are even being given to perfectly healthy babies … So, if they aren’t born with a health problem, they’re bound to get one
Even our water system is riddled with drugs; it’s not uncommon for hospitals and everyday citizens to flush their meds down toilets and drains, putting millions of pounds of medications – from highly toxic chemicals like those found in cancer treatments, to hormones – in the sewer system.(4)