Blog > UK Babies Born Addicted to Drugs
UK Babies Born Addicted to Drugs
Shocking NHS statistics have revealed that in the UK over 1,500 babies are born addicted to drugs each year.
In extreme cases doctors have been forced to give the newborns opiates in an attempt to wean them off heroin.
The number of babies born with “neonatal withdrawal symptoms” has increased by 22% over the past 10 years. This means that they are in “cold turkey” after being dependent on drugs taken by their mothers during pregnancy.
Director for the Centre for Social Justice thinktank, Christian Guy, said the figures demonstrate that “addiction is not just about individual choice – it affects children, families, communities and public services”.
Meanwhile Vivienne Evans, chief executive Adfam family support charity, called for more specialised treatment for pregnant women in these situations. She highlighted the stigma around drug taking, and worries that their children may be taken away, as explanations for women not seeking the health services that they and their babies need.