This is dedicated to Travis Holappa who was kidnapped, tortured and murdered on July 25, 2004 in Northern Minnesota. This was all due to meth. I am Travis' mother and I wish to make this devastation turn into a better thing by educating and exposing the truth about meth, the dangers, and the deadly consequences it brings about to individuals and communities.

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Location: Colorado, United States

I want to do what I can to educate people about what is going on around the world with the meth problem. I want people to know about it BEFORE they even get the idea to want to try it. It is a dangerous drug and will ruin your life as well as all those who love you. I am on a mission on behalf of my only son, Travis.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Exposure to methamphetamine in the womb causes adverse developmental effects

Medical Study News

Published: Monday, 29-Nov-2004

International studies suggest that children exposed to methamphetamine in the womb are likely to suffer adverse developmental effects - either because of the drug, or the environment in which they are subsequently raised.
But University of Auckland developmental health psychologist Trecia Wouldes says further research is needed to pinpoint the impact on infants born to mothers using the drug during pregnancy.

Dr Wouldes - from the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences - is the author of an international literature review published in this month's New Zealand Medical Journal. The review was done in collaboration with Drs Linda LaGasse and Barry Lester (Brown University, USA) and Dr Janie Sheridan (School of Pharmacy, The University of Auckland).

Methamphetamine use in New Zealand has largely been associated with young males, but Dr Wouldes says a growing number of women of childbearing age are also using the drug.

"This widespread use has been reflected in the dramatic increase in referrals of women who have used this drug during their current pregnancy to the Alcohol Drug and Pregnancy Team (ADAPT) at National Women's Hospital. In 2001, 10% (six out of 60) of the total ADAPT referrals were due to methamphetamine use and associated problems. This escalated to 59% (34 out of 58) in 2003," says Dr Wouldes.

Further anecdotal reports from other antenatal departments of hospitals in the Auckland region and community midwives suggest that a much larger number of women are using or have used methamphetamine during their current pregnancy that have not come to the attention of ADAPT, she says.

Dr Wouldes says there is a paucity of good quality, long-term studies on the effects of the drug on children - and warns against making harsh judgements and punitive policy decisions on the basis of inadequate information.

What little is known about the effects of methamphetamine use during pregnancy on the developing fetus and child comes from three areas: animal studies, a limited number of human studies, and studies of prenatal exposure to other stimulants such as "crack" cocaine.

Animal studies have found a range of possible effects, including increased maternal and offspring death rates, eye problems, cleft palate, rib malformations, decreased rate of physical growth and delayed motor development.

The limited human studies suggest children born to methamphetamine users may be at risk developmentally because of the direct effects of prenatal drug exposure and the caregiving environment associated with that drug use.

Cocaine and methamphetamines have similar pharmacological properties - although methamphetamine has a longer half-life than cocaine. Studies on infants whose mothers took the drug while pregnant have shown these babies often had shorter sleep bouts, and fussed or cried more often than the norm. There was also an effect on their responses to arousal, their attention spans, and motor development.

Dr Wouldes says all illicit drugs taken during pregnancy cross the placenta and reach the fetus - but cautions that the effects of methamphetamine use on a child must also be evaluated in the context of the environment in which that child is subsequently raised.

"There is evidence that maternal drug use is associated with general psychosocial risk factors that may be more pronounced in drug using populations and include poverty, chaotic and dangerous lifestyles, symptoms of psychopathology (e.g. personality disorders, depressive symptoms), a history of childhood sexual abuse and involvement in difficult or abusive relationships with male partners.

"There may be a double jeopardy in which these children are at risk due to the combination of prenatal exposure effects and postnatal environmental effects."

In her conclusions, Dr Wouldes recommends that: "Firstly, in order to avoid a 'rush to judgement' we need well-designed studies to determine if there are effects of methamphetamine use on child outcome.

"Second, if there are effects, we need to develop effective intervention programmes for the infants and their families to reduce methamphetamine related deficits. The cost savings alone from preventing the need for special education services in schools would more than pay for early intervention programmes."

Dr Wouldes is now developing and seeking the necessary consents to participate in a long-term, international study on the effects of methamphetamine use by pregnant women on children.


Blogger sad dad said...

I got involved with a woman who was involved with meth but was doing quite well in her "recovery". Unfortunatly that was until she became pregnant about one year ago. I had caught her high on Meth when she was about 2 months pregnant. She ended up moving out and continued her Meth use saying she had only done it two more times. She gave birth to a little girl(Sera)in November and my daughter displays some odd behavior at times. It scares the crap outta me and I have been trying to take the child from her through any means I can(leagaly) but have ran into one brick wall after another. The mother even admitted in court she used Meth when pregnant but denies using it now. The Judge comended her on her recovery and issued a restraining order against me for threatening her boyfriend who just got out of jail for possesion with intent to distribute Methamphetamines. All I said was I would burn him down if I found he was dealing drugs around my daughter. In my opinion my newborn daughter has already been abused by her mother but a court doesn't seem to see it that way. What is wrong with this world?

Monday, February 20, 2006 5:00:00 PM  
Anonymous jaime mulvaine said...

I am a mother of a 2yr child who was born positive for meth i left the hospital after she was born and went straight to a treament facility i now have 2yrs clean and am fighting my x for custody who was purchesing and supporting my habbit through out the pregnancy but the court looks at him as if he has done nothing wrong all i can do is keep fighting to keep my daughter out of his home to keep her from even more exposure to the drug and sad dad i encurege you to do the same no matter how many brick walls you hit it is important to keep your daughter on the right track from birth because of the use during pregnancy she has potencial to become and adict herself especially if the use is continuing in the home and environment she lives in so please do not give up and be there for your daughter

Wednesday, March 15, 2006 7:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The above young woman, Jaime, now has over 4 years clean-- and just been informed she has lost custody TO HER EX-- not only of her daughter, but of an older son also, who is NOT even the child of this drug abusing man. Both children have been placed in his guardianship. This man is the one who got her into the drug use to begin with. WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE COURTS IN THE STATE OF MISSOURI????!!!!

This is after Jaime maintained a job working nights, AND went to school and GRADUATED, and landed a good job. All with 4 children to care for. It is her belief that the children were being abused during their stays with this man, but those visits were court ordered. None of her evidence seemed to matter. Evidently MONEY is the only thing that talks in some courts. Knowing what this young mother went through, and the fact that she did NOT go back to drug use is extremely impressive, given the strength of the addiction meth normally has on people.
I am appalled at the way this has turned out for her AND for those children. I believe they are in the worst possible environment they could be in.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008 9:51:00 PM  

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