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article imageDevelopmental and vision problems seen in babies of addicts

By Tim Sandle     Jan 3, 2015 in Health
Glasgow - The babies of mothers who are classified as drug addicts are more likely to be born with developmental problems and poor vision, according to a new study.
The new study was commissioned by The Early Development Journal and led by Dr Helen Mactier. The study looked at 80 babies born in Scotland. The researchers found methadone, some traces of opiates, benzodiazepines, cannabis and stimulants in the babies' systems. Many babies born to drug addict mothers are said to experience neonatal withdrawal symptoms, according to the news site RT.
As the babies developed, the researchers looked at the extent of social interaction, co-ordination — in terms of ability to perform simple tasks — and motor skills. These tests were carried out over a six-month period.
In each case the three factors studied were inferior for babies that were born to drug-addict mothers when compared with babies who were born to mothers who were not drug-addicted. Unsurprisingly, the researchers have raised the alarm and state that any mother who is an addict and is thinking of having a baby should think very seriously. Babies born to drug addicts tend to have a smaller head circumference.
However, as the BBC reports, the results have been challenged by other child experts. Such experts put the blame on poor parenting once the child has been born rather than on the fact that the mother was a drug addict during the time of the pregnancy.
The BBC quotes Dr Martin Ward Platt, from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, who argues that the research did not account for the impact of being raised in "non-responsive environments." Dr Platt argues further: "[This finding] may be entirely mediated by a lack of child-parent interaction."
The research has yet to published. Once the findings become known, perhaps the case for one of the two arguments — developmental or environmental — will be made.
More about Addicts, Vision, Development, Babies
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