Mother Sentenced to 30 Years After Death of Opioid Addicted Baby

Written by Chloe Nicosia

Opioid Addicted Baby Dies After Nine Days – Parents Responsible

Mother arrested in Baltimore (AP) after her baby dies just nine days after being born addicted to heroin. The opioid addicted baby is another in a line of examples of how the opioid epidemic is affecting the lives of young and old alike. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calculated the total amount of people who died from heroin or prescription opioids in 2016 to be over 64,000.

Anne Kirsch, the young mother of the opioid addicted baby, is facing 30 years in prison for her actions that lead to the death of her infant child. Her initial sentence was 75 years, but 45 of those were suspended. The judge found her guilty of manslaughter as well as child abuse.

Kirsch told the court that she had carried on with her heroin abuse even during the early stages of the pregnancy, and most likely throughout the pregnancy. She also admitted to abusing heroin the night that her child, Matthew Kirsch Jr., passed away – in 2015. Her sentencing took place in late 2017.

Although most infants that die from neonatal abstinence syndrome, caused by the substance abuse, Matthew died from blunt force trauma to the head, as was revealed in the autopsy. It was also found that there was no food in the infant’s digestive tract.

Matthew Kirsch Sr., father of the infant, also received a sentence of 15 years. He pleaded guilty for not getting his son the medical help that could have saved his life.

Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS)

NAS is a condition that affects newborns, also known as opioid withdrawal in infants. It occurs in one way only: opioid abuse while the child is in the womb. The heroin is able to pass through the placenta and directly to the baby every time a mother uses perception opioids or heroin.

When a mother abuses heroin a few weeks before giving birth, the baby will then also be born with opioid withdrawal in infants, symptoms which are commonly found in detox. The child is also addicted to the drug as the mother is. Other drugs can negatively affect infants in the womb, but NAS seems to occur only with opioid cases.

A case such as an opioid addicted baby dying nine days after entering into this world gives us a glimpse into the horrors that the crisis has brought on the American people.

Rehab for Pregnant Mothers

While it is not easy to treat an expecting mother with a heroin addiction, it is possible. Certain periods during the pregnancy are opportune for medications such as methadone, in order to avoid the opioid addicted baby being too affected.

Medications are usually preferred to help the mother and unborn baby having to deal with the full brunt of an opioid withdrawal. Opioid replacement therapy allows a doctor to control the use of the replacement drug, such as buprenorphines and methadone. The expecting mother can also gain the benefit of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or another similar treatment that aims to deal with the issues that are likely to cause relapse.

Get help for someone you know or yourself now before an addiction is allowed to not only ruin your life, but that of your child too. Better Addiction Care can put you in touch with a reputable rehab today. Call them at 1.800.429.7690.