SONOMA (CBS SF) — Sonoma County has double the state average of babies being born with opiate addictions.
Anni McAnallan is on the road to recovery, but said she was addicted to opiates and used them throughout her pregnancy.
“I kept telling myself I’m gonna stop, I’m gonna stop. This will be the last time or I’m going to wean myself off of it…But I just couldn’t stop for the life of me,” McAnallan said.
When her son was born – an infant already in withdrawal – he was taken into protective custody.
He is one of the 25 babies born a year, addicted to drugs in Sonoma County. A number that’s tripled in the past ten years and is double the state average.
“It was embarrassing and it was sad. And I broke my heart by doing that,” McAnallan said.
Cheryle Stanley, the director at Womens Recovery Services says opiate addictions have taken the place of meth in recent years, thanks to easy access and over prescribing. And the effects of that class of drug on babies is further reaching.
Stanley said, “These babies are irritable, they have difficulty eating…most of them are taken away from parents and put in specific foster homes that really know how to care for these babies.”
McAnallan now has her son back, thanks to the treatment program at Womens Recovery Services. The demand is so high for the program that ther is a wait list to get in.
And as a success story, McAnallan has a message for women who may also be in her plight: “I think it’s really important for women to ask for that help, get resources, lean on somebody…It’s okay,” she said.