Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Hair Samples Show Babies Can Be Exposed To 'Crystal Meth' While In The Womb

Date:
November 1, 2006
Source:
BMJ Specialty Journals
Summary:
Babies can be exposed to methamphetamine or "crystal meth" while in the womb, reveals an analysis of hair samples, published ahead of print in the Fetal and Neonatal Edition of Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Babies can be exposed to methamphetamine or "crystal meth" while in the womb, reveals an analysis of hair samples, published ahead of print in the Fetal and Neonatal Edition of Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Unlike hair, the most commonly used detection methods (blood and urine), cannot register long term use, nor can they always distinguish among different drugs, say the authors. Bleaching or straightening the hair will not erase the chemical evidence it holds.

Crystal meth boosts alertness and promotes a sense of wellbeing, euphoria, and exhilaration. It also curbs appetite and enhances sexual arousal. But long term abuse damages nerves in the brain and can lead to psychotic behaviour and aggression.

The drug is very easy to manufacture in home laboratories, and global use has soared, particularly among young women, say the authors. An estimated half a million Americans alone are thought to use it every week, including 5% of pregnant women.

The authors carried out hair sample analysis on more than 8,000 people, totalling more than 34,000 test results between 1997 and 2005.

In all, 396 samples tested positive for crystal meth, accounting for 8% of the total during this period. This number included 11 mother and baby pairs.

All but 14 of the samples testing positive for crystal meth had been sent for analysis in 2005. The first positive cases dated from 2003.

Wide ranging levels of the drug were found in both the mothers' and the newborns' hair samples. But the levels matched, indicating that the drug is able to cross the placenta directly to the developing fetus, say the authors.

Only one newborn had no evidence of the drug in its hair. Fetal hair starts to grow at about 20 weeks.

The authors say that the precise effects of crystal meth on a fetus are not fully known, but the evidence to date points to restricted fetal growth and developmental problems.

Crystal meth users were also significantly more likely to use other drugs, the results showed. Most (85%) of the 396 samples positive for crystal meth also tested positive for at least one other illegal drug, predominantly cocaine. .

Drug abuse increases complications of pregnancy and triples the likelihood of serious medical problems among the babies born, say the authors.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ Specialty Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

BMJ Specialty Journals. "Hair Samples Show Babies Can Be Exposed To 'Crystal Meth' While In The Womb." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 November 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061031192407.htm>.
BMJ Specialty Journals. (2006, November 1). Hair Samples Show Babies Can Be Exposed To 'Crystal Meth' While In The Womb. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061031192407.htm
BMJ Specialty Journals. "Hair Samples Show Babies Can Be Exposed To 'Crystal Meth' While In The Womb." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061031192407.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

AFP (July 24, 2014) China's elderly population is expanding so quickly that children struggle to look after them, pushing them to do something unexpected in Chinese society- move their parents into a nursing home. Duration: 02:07 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Newsy (July 23, 2014) An 8-year-old boy helped his younger brother, who has a rare genetic condition that's confined him to a wheelchair, finish a triathlon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The 83 new genetic markers could open dozens of new avenues for schizophrenia treatment research. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins