Almost two babies a week are born addicted to illicit drugs at one hospital in Adelaide alone.
Most of the mothers are addicted to heroin but most of the babies were addicted to medically prescribed methadone as the mothers tried to get off heroin during their pregnancy.
The addicted babies withdrawal symptoms are vomiting, diarrhea, uncontrolled crying and extreme irritability.
The addicted pregnant women tended to come into care later in the pregnancy because of anxiety and chaotic life styles.
Heroin addiction in pregnant women and their babies had become worse due to a recent increase availability of heroin from Afghanistan.
(Source: The Advertiser, Adelaide, 7 February 2008)
This report in Adelaide mirrors other reports of drug addicted newborn babies in other parts of Australia.
There are grave concerns for these babies that leave medical care to be taken home by a mother still in her addiction.
With the recent United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime report that Afghanistan heroin production is now at record levels there is likely to be more babies born with addictions.
The most effective way of reducing the number of drug addicted babies is to divert them and their mothers into detoxification and rehabilitation.
Early intervention and diversion into detoxification and rehabilitation programs will ensure mothers and babies get off drugs.
Lets ditch harm minimization for what works.