Shocking video has emerged of a baby violently shaking after being born with an addiction to drugs it inherited from its mother in the womb. The clip, which comes with an assurance it is being played at normal speed, shows the newborn going through one of the symptoms of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, a series of problems which occur while a baby is exposed to opioids such as Vicodin and morphine while in the womb.
The shaking is a result of the baby already suffering from drug withdrawal, one of the 130,000 babies born in the US over the last decade addicted to drugs, according to a Reuters investigation.
According to the special report, Helpless and Hooked, a baby is born addicted to opioids, or pain relief medication, every 19 minutes. Reuters recorded more than 27,000 diagnosed cases of drug-dependent newborns in 2013 – more than five the figures from 2003.
Of these cases, there were 110 cases incidents where baby was born drug dependant has died needlessly, usually as a result of a failure to report the baby's condition to the relevant authorities and social services after they were discharged.
"Being born drug-dependent didn't kill these children," it states. "Each recovered enough to be discharged from the hospital. What sealed their fates was being sent home to families ill-equipped to care for them."
Some of these preventable cases include a two-year-old girl who drowned in the family pool after her opioid-using mother lost track of her, and an eight-month old who died after ingesting Fentanyl, a narcotic more powerful than morphine. The girl's mother had a history of methamphetamine abuse and previously had two children from her care due to neglect and physical abuse.
The report babies being born already addicted to drugs – up from around 5,000 in 2003 – is a result of the "epidemic" of people taking opioids due to the ease of availability. President Barack Obama said he was "stunned" when he saw the statistic on opioids abuse when he first entered the White House in 2009.
According to NHS figures obtained by the Mirror, more than 1,500 babies are born a year in the UK addicted to drugs, a 22% increase in cases over the last 10 years.