The Lasting Effects of Meth on Children
Drug abuse causes physical health issues, mental health issues, behavioral issues, and other problems in the user’s life. Drug abuse does not just affect the user, however. Researchers recently studied the effects of drug use on the unborn babies of meth mothers, and found that the children also suffer.
Symptoms of Meth Abuse
Methamphetamine is a widely abused stimulant. It is typically injected, snorted or smoked, and it is highly addictive because of the feeling of euphoria it causes. Meth causes decreased motor skills and impaired brain function, in addition to anxiety, confusion, and sometimes violent behavior.
These symptoms are bad enough when experienced by the drug-abusing adult, but a study recently found that the effects on unborn children are similar. Researchers at Brown University’s Center of the Study of Children at Risk found that children born to meth mothers suffered from lasting effects such as anxiety, depression, and ADHD. The study, which was funded in part by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, was published in the journal Pediatrics in the spring of 2012.
The study was the first of its kind, and it has lead the way in helping society see the dangers of meth abuse among pregnant women. More research will be done in the upcoming years to identify the long term effects of meth on these children as they enter adulthood.
Dangers of Meth
Meth addiction continues to be a growing trend in our country. According to the NIDA, 3.4 percent of adults ages 18-25, and 5.3 percent of adults over 26 have used meth in their lifetime. A growing number of meth users manufacture the drug themselves in their home, which has the potential to cause explosions and exposure to chemicals and fumes due to the unstable nature of the ingredients.
It is important that we find ways to educated pregnant meth users on the dangers of their drug abuse not only for themselves, but for their unborn child also. We need to provide these women with effective treatment for their drug abuse, and give them the tools necessary to get their lives back on track so they can give their children the best chance at a positive future.