Monday, February 06, 2006


A mother of one of our babies bit one of the OB nurses yesterday. It broke skin and everything, a real hard bite. She was high on cocaine, heroin, and apparently some prescription mind altering drug at the time. Fortunately, her baby is doing well, as is the nurse. We're waiting for the baby's withdrawal signs to start. The mother was calmed down today, but I still kept a little distance between us when I talked to her about her baby.

I'm not sure what to think about drug-using mothers. A lot of people get mad at them, because of what they are doing to their babies, which is a natural first reaction. But it doesn't do any good to get mad at them. It's not like they're going to change their behavior because a health care professional chews them out. And it certainly doesn't help you gain rapport with them when you scold them.

Actually, many of the drug using mothers are quite nice, when they're not trying to bite someone, and I sort of enjoy talking to them. They are as varied as any other group of people. I often wonder what kind of upbringing they have had that made them get involved in such a sad and destructive lifestyle. My time with them is so fleeting that I can't really help them much, except perhaps to give them a few kind words that they seldom hear. So we refer their babies to the county protective services agency, and our social worker tries to get them into a treatment program.

And a year later they're back again and we start all over.


Anonymous chris and vic (CAK) said...

No comments? I can't believe it!

There but for the grace of God goes every one of us!

Some drugs are so addictive that it only takes one exposure. The only people who really get off cocaine are those who do so with a lot of religious/spiritual support and conviction. There is no will-power powerful enough to fight that urge, unless you add other kids of motivation . . . this is the opinion of a family therapist in the are, and it is the story of my son's birth-mom, a cocaine-using mom (back then, anyway---I hope she is still clean, straight and sober).

People who dabble in drugs are curious and bored---at the high school level or the middle-school level---or their friends have involved them. Maybe some other reasons, but these are the biggies.
Many other people use alcohol and drugs to self-medicate away the anxiety, depression and emotional pain in their lives. For this, they deserve our support and sympathy. I'm glad you don't chew them out. They live in a world we cannot begin to understand and have never gone to---as if living in a war-zone. They cope as they can, or as if they have been influenced by friends and family before them.

They are fellow human beings. We are all the same species. Some have said they are our brothers and sisters. We should treat them as such. Thanks for treating them well, even if/when they act out.
The 12-step programs say it is the drug talking (or acting out), not the REAL person inside . . .
Chris and Vic (CAK)

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