Inherited Addiction: Caring for a Heroin-Addicted Infant


| July 18, 2000

Inherited Addiction: Caring for a Heroin-Addicted Infant

Heroin withdrawal is a painful, gut-wrenching process. 'Addicts violently fear the sickness,' writes Natalie Quick in the Western Washington University student magazine Klipsun. 'When they've developed a habit for the drug and quit using, their bodies cramp, sweat and shake viciously and they vomit continuously almost as soon as their high wears off.

The sickness becomes infinitely more difficult to bear when the addiction is not your own, but your baby's -- an agonizing burden that you caused. Quick interviewed Angela and Kevin, a pair of recovering heroin-users whose baby was born addicted to the drug.

'The day Aleister was born was supposed to be the happiest day of our lives,' Angela says. 'But I just kept thinking, 'Oh my god, we're killing our child.''

Angela had tried to kick her habit, but once she got pregnant she discovered that quitting was not an option. 'If I would have just stopped using at any point in my pregnancy, I would have lost Aleister. If a mother uses frequently while pregnant, her baby will be addicted. If (she) stops, then the baby will start withdrawing and possibly die.' -- Leif UtneGo there>>