Since 1995 - Non Profit Healthcare Advice

Drug addicted baby



i`m a foster mother. i have a 1 week old baby that was born addicted to cocaine. what are some of the signs and symptoms that i need to look for? how long will these symptoms last? how long will the drug stay in the babies system? thank you


Drug addiction is a disease that has tremendous impact on each and every level of society, and for the foster child in your care, has an even more direct impact.

In terms of signs and symptoms, typically the acute addiction and withdrawal symptoms are resolved before the infant is discharged from the hospital.  These include tremors (shaking), elevated heart rate and blood pressure, insensitivity to light and noise, difficulty with feeding.  The length of time that these issues remain depends on both the amount of cocaine in the infant, and how addicted (how long the use had gone on during the pregnancy) but again, have usually resolved completely before the infant is discharged.  And once resolved, imply that the drug has left the child’s system.

The impact of fetal exposure to cocaine is the remaining issue, and it appears that each individual infant is different and unique in terms of how they are affected by the drug exposure, and frankly that part of their life cannot be changed at this point in time.  What is most important for this child and every child is that they are provided the best environment to grow up in, preferably one that is loving and structured, stimulating and encouraging, free from addictions and those who have poor judgement regarding children, and most importantly optimistic about their future.

Good luck and thank you for taking the time to care about this little one, I am sure the baby appreciates that you are so concerned and am equally certain that society owes you thanks as well.

For more information:

Go to the Children’s Health health topic.