- Jungwon Shin
A Tide of Opioid-Dependent Newborns Forces Doctors to Rethink Treatment
During the time period between 2003 and 2012, the number of the supposed crack babies in the United States increased nearly five times. In Kentucky, 15 of every 1000 infants are dependent on opioids. In the name of treatment, the infants are separated from their mothers and transferred to hospitals, usually hours away. Many mothers, poor still struggling with addiction, cannot afford to visit the hospital. Even if they end up making it to the hospital, many of the local charities do not offer housing to the addicts. Thus, mothers end up sleeping in the car or in worse cases, on the street.
However, the fact is that these babies need a mother. It has been found that newborns in withdrawal would slow the infants' recovery when their mothers are present. Infants in withdrawal require less medication and fewer costly days in intensive care with their mothers' presence. Yet, mothers who are still drug addicts have a great chance of losing their custody - which means they are no longer allowed to make legal decisions for their own babies.
While I totally agree that drug addicts are not the most fit to make best decisions, I still believe that parents are best at taking care of their own children. Not only that studies support it, but also based on personal experiences, I feel most relaxed eating my mom's food, talking to her and just spending time with her.
APPA UN NGO intern
Cornell University Information Science major
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