Although recent studies show that the use of methamphetamine among teens adults and lifetime consumers has decreased, researchers published a study showing the effects of the drug in babies. Meth babies have been shown to develop worrisome behavior problems.
Methamphetamine has a wide range of effects that impact the consumer’s health. From mild effects such as decreased appetite to rapid heart rate and hyperthermia to long term consequences such as dental problems that are branded as meth mouth, to mood disturbances, violent behavior and anxiety. Some consumers even go through a series of psychotic symptoms that range from paranoia to hallucinations and even the feeling of having insects crawling under the skin.
HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B and C are also common results of methamphetamine abuse. But since for many consuming meth while knowing the risks they’re subjected to feels like a choice that impacts only them, a new study comes to prove there is a link between mothers on meth and the health of their babies.
The journal Pediatrics published a study from researchers with the Brown University in Providence that found that children aged 3 to 5 years that had mothers using meth are subjected to a bigger risk of developing behavioral problems. Linda LaGasse, author of the study, called these problems to be “very worrisome”.
The problem at hand is that methamphetamine might be affecting children’s brains on the long term, but so far scientists were unable to pinpoint the exact duration of how long the meth remains active in children.
Mothers that were consuming meth during pregnancy subjected their babies to a higher risk of developing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, aggressive tendencies, depression, anxiety and impulsiveness.
Joseph Frascella, head of the behavioral division at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, called the research “groundbreaking”. The Institute paid part of the costs involved in the research as part of their campaign to inform consumers about the risks of meth consumption.
As data from the government shows, there are more than 10 million Americans that have consumed meth and while the number of pregnant women using is less than 1 percent, the study pin points this is a serious matter.
Groundbreaking as the study has been ruled to be, the research remains the first in the field, but it will surely lead to others down the line.