The choice to use or abuse legal or illegal drugs is a personal one. Most users don't realize that their addiction affects more than themselves. Never has this fact been so greatly illustrated than in a newly released report from the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services. 

That agency's report says the number of substance-exposed babies born in Louisiana has tripled since 2008. In 2015 almost 15-hundred babies were born as substance-exposed children.  Regional Administrator for DCFS Michelle Faust told the Louisiana Radio Network,

We’re finding just more and more families are having problems with addictions and using more than one substance. They’re polysubstance abusers, and that this children are born being withdrawn as well, having to go through withdrawals.

Another aspect of these horrible start in life is whether or not the mother and surrounding family is deemed capable to actually care for the child. If not, the child is placed into foster care. That creates yet another issue. There aren't enough foster families that can adopt and care for a baby that is going through drug withdrawal.

The child that is born addicted to drugs is going to go through withdrawals. They’re going to have problems with feeding, keeping food down. Sometimes they’re irritable in their behavior.

The immediate solution for these children is to find willing families to care for them. The long range solution is to educate expectant mothers on the dangers of drug use during pregnancy. Faust suggests in her comments that if that problem is not addressed the problem of substance-exposed babies will continue to grow.