Children born to P-addicted mothers show serious concentration and behaviour problems as they start school.Interesting.
A joint American-New Zealand study has found that when US methamphetamine babies reach the age of 5, many are unable to sit quietly and focus on a single task.
Auckland University researchers say babies here are showing the same brain problems at birth as their American counterparts, suggesting they are likely to develop similar behaviour problems as they grow older.
Lead researcher Dr Trecia Wouldes said US academics had begun studying the children of crack cocaine mothers 15 years ago and included P mothers when the drug took hold in some parts of the country.
Auckland was later asked to join Honolulu, Los Angeles, Iowa and Oklahoma in the study because of our high rate of methamphetamine abuse.
Dr Wouldes said the American cocaine babies did not show any behaviour differences until the age of 4, but these grew dramatically as they got older.
"They're starting to find that those are the kids that are using drugs, they've got more problems at school, they've got more psychological problems - a whole raft of things."
The P babies also seemed normal at first but at 5 they began to show significant behaviour problems as well.
Dr Wouldes said the New Zealand children had been studied up to the age of 3 and she hoped to keep following them as they reached school age.
"This 4-year follow-up is absolutely critical to see if they are ready for school. Can they sit, how well do they speak and communicate and are there emerging behavioural problems - tantrums or acting out?"
All the evidence so far suggested the New Zealand children will follow the American pattern.
The way their brains worked at birth and at one month old was a close match with the US babies who had gone on to develop behaviour problems at 5.
"What it's saying is that we can probably identify these children who are going to have developmental problems at birth or at one month."
Dr Wouldes said these children were likely to be even worse affected by the drug throughout their lives than P-abusing adults.
The New Zealand study compared 102 mothers who used P with 109 non-using mothers from similar social backgrounds.
Earlier results of the study showed the babies born to P-users were 3.5 times more likely to be below average weight.
Stellar Trust chief executive Mike Williams said the combined evidence from the New Zealand and American research was disturbing. It suggested that as these children grew older, New Zealand could face even worse social problems from P than the violent crime currently committed by adults.
Hey Mike Williams from the Stellar Trust...why is this information disturbing to you? Were you not already aware of this information? Or did it take this research to inform the chief executive of the Stellar Trust...a trust set up to "battle methamphetamine" in New Zealand, that P damages children? Maybe NOW you can put some of that money that you have taken off GlaxoSmithKline towards helping these children?...instead of paying an ex heroin addict (what does heroin have to do with this?) to visit high schools and talk about his glory days, and organising more celebrity dinners that cost as much as they raise!
I wonder how much this research, to find out what everyone with half a brain...even fried brains, already knows...cost?
I am going to look into that.
Rather than having hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on paying already wealthy scientists to waste time on research, when we already know what the result of that research would be, wouldn't it be nice if instead, the money was invested on research into how to actually help these kids. Even better...invest it in actually helping them.
They act like they have discovered something that will actually surprise anyone.
Ridiculous. Stop studying these poor kids and start helping them! They are not lab rats!