Number of babies damaged by crystal meth increased by up to 1000 percent

Number of babies damaged by crystal meth increased by up to 1000 percent

Maternal drug use: More and more newborns damaged by crystal meth
The number of newborns who have been harmed by the illegal drug crystal meth has increased significantly in recent years, in some parts of Saxony by as much as 1,000 percent. Doctors report that some mothers are intoxicated even at birth.

Some mothers are high even at birth
A few months ago, a survey showed that far too many Germans find alcohol acceptable during pregnancy. Even though the potential risks for mother and child are known. Of course, it is also known that expectant mothers should not use drugs. Even so, the number of babies born with crystal meth damage has increased dramatically in recent years. With some births, the mothers are even high, as doctors report.

Health hazards do not prevent consumers from using drugs
"In today's performance society, the use of methamphetamine - called" crystal meth "due to its crystalline appearance - appears to be increasing," writes the Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA) on its website. "It promises to be able to cope with stress and pressure with ease and, moreover, to be able to achieve more performance in less time." In connection with the drug discovery by the Green Member of the German Bundestag, Volker Beck, more and more information was given about how health-threatening crystal meth really is. But even the dangers do not prevent consumers from using the drug. As the dpa news agency reports, the number of dependent women who give birth to children in the Carl Gustav Carus University Hospital in Dresden increases as the drug Crystal comes to Saxony from the Czech Republic. Often even on drugs.

Abnormalities in newborns
"Too short, too light, a head that is too small, or too early." Pediatrician and neonatologist Jürgen Dinger therefore sees such abnormalities more and more often in newborns. According to the agency, methamphetamine - that is the correct name for the synthetically relatively light and inexpensive substance - has so far been a Saxon problem because of its proximity to drug kitchens in the neighboring country. According to the regional office against addiction risks, the number of consumers who turn to advice centers in Saxony for help seeking crystal was almost 5,000 four times higher than the national average last year. The BZgA also started online help for Crystal Meth consumers a few years ago.

Increases of up to 1000 percent
According to Dinger, the number of fetuses and newborns damaged by crystal in Saxony has increased dramatically since 2007 - in the Chemnitz region by almost 400 percent. "The administrative district of Leipzig is 800 percent and the administrative district of Dresden kills the bird at 1,000 percent." According to the information, there have been between 160 and 180 affected children each year in the past three years, with around 35,000 births a year. However, these are only the proven cases, the undisclosed number is high. "I think we have to hit 50 percent at least once more," says Dinger. "There are only relatively few women who admit their addiction beforehand," explained gynecologist Katharina Nitzsche, who, together with Dinger, treats women with crystal and their children before and after birth at the university hospital.

Birth problems
Problems with crystal patients always arise at birth, especially when the mother and thus the child are also on drugs. “If they are really on drugs, the cooperation is zero. The women are totally blown away, ”explained Dinger. The babies are then "restless and fidgety" and there are cramping conditions. If the mother did not consume anything, the newborns, on the other hand, were rather symptom-free in their behavior. “The same applies to the mothers: nothing taken - calm woman, relaxed. What was taken - really aggressive and absolutely difficult, ”said Nitzsche. Drugs made women less tolerant of pain and frustration, leading to aggressiveness. In extreme cases, a Caesarean section would have to be delivered even under general anesthesia.

Crystal sufferers are not necessarily recognizable by their appearance
The women are only tested for drugs if they give their consent. “It is different when I have a child who appears nervous or overexcited or cramps. Then I have to immediately clarify the cause of the cramp and cannot ask whether the mother agrees with it, ”explained Dinger. "It is not true that you can recognize crystal sufferers from the outside, as is often believed in public," explained Nitzsche. According to dpa, she had only experienced this in one case. "Most of them look relatively normal - like you and me." In the United States, the "Faces of Meth" campaign uses before / after pictures to indicate physical deterioration caused by the drug. In this country, blatant facial aging is rare due to the good health care.

Pre-programmed drug addiction for young people
A later drug addiction of the offspring is more or less programmed. "Crystal meth influences the receptors in the central nervous system and triggers the addiction," says Dinger. We know from adults that this process is irreversible. Therefore, the children would also have a higher risk of later becoming addicted themselves. "The body simply craves it because the receptors have already been adjusted accordingly in the womb." However, Dinger does not want to speak to Crystal of a withdrawal syndrome with which children of heroin-dependent women are born. "The abnormalities are more or less an expression of poisoning," said the expert. This fades away. So far, however, there has been no experience of how the children would be a few years later, for example when they started school. You would surely be conspicuous. "And that's what we used to call" Zappelphilipp "at Wilhelm Busch, maybe harmless." According to dpa, things pleaded not to stigmatize the mothers and to offer them help. Many hope that a new life will begin for them after birth. Pregnancy is therefore a starting point. "Because this is a unique and sensitive phase in which you can not always break through the addiction, but at least build mechanisms that enable the mothers to deal with the addiction better - in a controlled manner - especially for the sake of the child." (Ad)

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