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Old 02-10-2012, 07:22 PM   #1
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Drug withdrawal

Does anyone have experience with caring for a newborn withdrawing from drugs? We are adopting and have decided we are open to adopting a baby exposed to drugs. I have done some research but i am curious about others personal experience. What should i expect to see? How long did the withdrawal period last? Any other information you would like to share would be great. If anyone has older kids that were drug dependant at birth, what lasting effects did they have?

If you feel comfortable with sharing, what drugs were dependant on?

Does anyone have experience with FAE or FAS? We are currently unsure if we want to go there, if there is anything you could share please do!

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Old 02-10-2012, 07:25 PM   #2
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Old 02-11-2012, 09:18 AM   #3
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Re: Drug withdrawal

Yes. Not sure if bmom was an addict or more recreational drug user, but bmom tested positive for meth. We do know she used marijuana regularly and was a heavy smoker. Nicotine can make babies extremely crabby for awhile while they withdraw from that. Baby was very fussy and dysregulated for about a month. She gradually improved though and turned into a different baby. She is happy and easy going now at 5 months according to her new family and meeting all her milestones on time or ahead of time. It's really hard to know with drugs though. It could have lifelong affects well beyond the withdrawal. Some escape with being in a good home from day one, but many do not. I am much more leery of alcohol use than drug use. FASD is definitely a spectrum disorder. My sister (who was added to our family through adoption) has slight facial features if you're specifically looking for it (beautiful girl though) and had emotional issues, but you could also tie that to traumatic bmom visits for the first couple years of her life. She is amazingly smart though. Straight A, honor roll student. This kind of stuff just isn't black and white.
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Old 02-11-2012, 04:48 PM   #4
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Re: Drug withdrawal

I know a girl who was born addicted to crack then adopted. I had her as a student when she was in 7th grade. She was (and is) an excellent athlete, particularly gymnastics. She's short, but otherwise, no long lasting health issues (and maybe bios were short?). She was NOT good at Spanish (which is what I teach), but otherwise she did OK in school. Now she has graduated from HS and is a gymnastics coach at my daughter's gym.
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Old 02-11-2012, 10:41 PM   #5
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Re: Drug withdrawal

Thanks for sharing!! This will definitely help in our decision making process. Glad to see that there are success stories out there as the information can be so scary sometimes!
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Old 02-12-2012, 10:32 PM   #6
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Re: Drug withdrawal

PM'd you, Mama! :-)
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Old 02-19-2012, 09:29 PM   #7
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Re: Drug withdrawal

my 3yo was exposed to pot & pain killers (opiates). She had sensory issues, horrid acid reflux, speech delays, stiffness in her joints. At age 2 her nervous system and body seemed to finally overcome the drugs.
my 12 yo is FAS, this often happens when mom's try their hardest to stay off drugs. We also suspect Cocaine before birth. at 12 he still has a lot of forgetfulness, but he is a solid B student.
Our foster child was exposed to cocaine, pot, antidepressants, and opiates. she is 2 1/2 and still has issues with muscle strength and tone. She falls a lot. Always has to be running, or she is into stuff. Never ever sits still. She is extremely repetitive with her speech. She has a wonderful personality. She sees OT PT and Speech once a week.
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Old 02-21-2012, 08:52 PM   #8
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Re: Drug withdrawal

We had a DFD who was exposed to heroin. Mom didn't know she was pg and used daily til 7 months, when she found out. She then switched herself off the heroin onto two drugs that are used to wean off an addiction, but she got them off the street and did not have medical advice. We did the research and it's scary...

But DFD did so well. She came to us at 2 days, straight from the hospital. We did all the recommended stuff--quiet, swaddled, etc. but really not much more than you do for healthy newborns. She was such a calm, easy baby! She did technically have some slight symptoms of withdrawal, but you seriously would not ever notice them if you hadn't been looking for it. But here's the catch; apparently babies born before 35 weeks are less likely to experience withdrawal symptoms, or they're less severe. She was born 34.5-35.5 weeks. We had her for 2 months, but she is now 8 months and continues to do well.
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Old 02-21-2012, 09:58 PM   #9
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Re: Drug withdrawal

It really depends on which drug/s and the frequency and timing of the exposure. Some drugs tend to make the babies really jittery and inconsolable like colic. Some tend to make the babies lethargic which looks like a super easy baby i.e. calm and content. Many also have trouble with coordinating suck/swallow/breath. As in, they have difficulty doing all three of those things at the same time during feedings. Dh and I did an online training through fosterparentcollege.com on drug exposed infants and it had some great ideas for caring for these babies.
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Old 02-22-2012, 07:59 AM   #10
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Re: Drug withdrawal

I'll pm you.
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