Staying In Tonight?


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Born Addicted: Reality Bites

RTÉ Two at 9.30pm.

Gareth Naughton writes:

More than 130 babies are born addicted to methadone or heroin in Ireland every year. This documentary explores this issue from all angles: expectant mothers who are on methadone, doctors treating the new-borns and some of the children – now adults – themselves.

People like Jennifer Byrne, a mother-of-six who has had five children while on heroin and/or methadone, and is expecting again and Petrina Williams who, after having been addicted to heroin as a teenager, is hoping the baby she’s expecting won’t suffer from withdrawal as a result of a decade of methadone use.

The documentary also features the stories of Donna Tyrrell who was surrounded by a variety of drugs as soon as she was born and carried that burden with her until after the birth of her own daughter; and Gary Locke whose life was thrown into chaos from birth as his mum was caught up in the first wave of heroin abuse.

Finally, Lisa Carroll speaks movingly about how the loss of five children, as well as suffering four miscarriages, has been devastating but she and her partner Thomas Cullen have not given up on the dream of one day becoming parents.

Reality Bites (RTÉ Two)

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70 thoughts on “Staying In Tonight?

          1. Paolo

            Not if their hopes and dreams cause newborn babies to be born with life limiting conditions, no.

            FFS. Why do you even have to ask that?

          1. Dόn Pídgéόní

            If you fail an alcohol screening test you shouldn’t be allowed kids either. And those are EASY to fail but hey, that’s addiction!!

  1. wearnicehats

    There are thousands of people in Ireland who would love to adopt a child but can’t. Those who are lucky enough to get a chance to adopt have to jump through myriad hoops, ask for references, fill out form after form to prove they will be good parents. Forms that are usually read by people who have never been near a baby.

    And then there are people like this.

      1. Jay

        If they can’t afford the 7k then the actual cost of raising a child isn’t something they can afford without large state handouts.

          1. Jay

            Er. Food, childcare, extracurricular activities, cumulative cost of additional holiday expenses, needing 2 bed accomodation versus a 1 bed and a ton of other stuff will add up to over 7k easily. In fact it’ll be over 6 figures by the time they’re done. College registration charges alone will be over 10k.

            You really haven’t thought this through. Are you expecting your first by any chance?

          2. Arcol

            Such balls. It’s not as if adoptive parents think that the 7k will be the last of their expenses. It’s just a big hit, that no-one would want. You get that, right?

        1. Joan Burton

          Jay, apart from say a private school or a second hand car name a name a one off expense for a child that costs 7k ?

          You are either a total muppet or are purposely taking up what I said wrong.

          It cost 7k for prospective adoptive parents to start the process, that 7 grand doesn’t guarantee them getting approved or even a child !

    1. Prop Joe

      “myriad hoops”
      Thank you. The first time in a while I’ve seen this word used correctly without the inexplicable addition of “of” in the middle.
      Accuracy bro.

    2. B Bop

      Know a couple-desperate for a child-went through it all over the years etc-finally adopted an Irish baby-baby taken back after birth mother changed mind.The baby had 4 days with this couple who would have raised it very well.
      Siiighs to this scenario.

  2. Bono's Pox

    Fupping pay the smackheads a hundred quid to be sterilized. they’re long-term addicts who will just afflict any kids they do have with addiction and state care. Christ, and abortion is STILL illegal. I’d imagine this entire TV show is one big ad for why abortion should be legal and free to those who really need it.

  3. Mehlol

    A miscarriage is a horrible thing for both parents and can happen to anyone for a wide variety of reasons but the fact that she had four of them AND lost five babies AFTER they were born speaks volumes. Someone is that physical / mental / social condition is simply not fit to be a parent.

    1. Sheikh Yahbooti

      Bromide/contraceptive in the Methadone? Same rationale as folic acid added to bread, vitamin D in milk. Benefits the user.

  4. Mr. T.

    Let’s completely ignore the causes of addiction in the first place and just vilify those who are addicts.

    Because that’ll solve the problem right?

    1. Owen

      Stop trying to be so riotous. One of the key causes of addiction is being born into a demographic in which addiction is prominent. This is extremely relevant to prolonged addiction.

        1. Dόn Pídgéόní

          How about addicted travellers with 12 kids and 20 miscarriages who demand to be recognised as a separate ethnic group?

          1. Dόn Pídgéόní

            Yes. Mini flags, separate door and maybe some kind of badge so they are more easily recognised? Best if they went and lived on estates outside of town together all as well.

            We could get a few of the feistier ones to fight for our entertainment too.

    2. newsjustin

      Yeah. Somehow this issue is seen as a reason to have abortion available rather than drug/addiction counselling and rehabilitation.

    3. Paolo

      Yes, if someone is an addict then they shouldn’t be having children. If someone is addicted to alcohol then they shouldn’t be bringing children into their world. Stop pretending that people don’t have responsibility for their actions/decisions.

      1. scottser

        correct me if i’m wrong, but i would assume that family planning and contraception would not be high on the list of priorities for someone with any sort of chaotic lifestyle. and i would further assert that a heroin addiction wreaks absolute havoc with a menstrual cycle, rendering any sort of planning extremely difficult.

  5. Kolm

    Grim. Grim beyond words.

    I see this everyday – I try to empathise, but it is a hard city to enjoy when there is so much of this.

    How can there be such a massive difference in lives of people only a few miles apart, one side lives in the centuries old legacy of social neglect and the other side spends it’s time onanating over trophy house to in the Irish Times property section and peacocking around horse racing meetings etc

    1. rotide

      You should move to London or Paris or New York.

      All marxist utopias where everyone has enough.

      Or maybe finish primaty school

    2. realPolithicks

      How can there be such a massive difference in lives of people only a few miles apart, one side lives in the centuries old legacy of social neglect and the other side spends it’s time onanating over trophy house to in the Irish Times property section and peacocking around horse racing meetings etc

      The answer is simple, most people don’t care as is demonstrated by many of the comments in this thread.

  6. Francis Almond

    Superior people should be allowed to execute these wretches and their subhuman spawn on sight. The ‘superior citizen’ should extend this cull to all they deem less than themselves.
    Soon all your troubles would be over.

    1. Daisy Chainsaw

      But keep the pregnant ones in laundries and once the babies have been sold on, you can chuck the junkies in a septic tank.

    1. Dόn Pídgéόní

      It always does with stories on addiction or travellers. Like someone has let Katie Hopkins out or something.

    2. newsjustin

      The BS comments section is liberal on many issues – SSM, legalising drugs, abortion, etc. But if you’re a drug addict who’s pregnant, its all sterilisation, buying your baby and abortion on sight.

  7. pissedasanewt

    You get child allowance and probably a gaff is you’ve littleuns around the place or a better chance of getting a gaff.

    Child allowance should be dependent on stamps earned. Work for x amount of years and which makes you eligible or child allowance or free child care once you’ve earned your stamps. Incentive to find work and stay in work.

    1. Fergal

      That’s over-simplifying it. If we value the child at all in our society – we purport to on paper – then we should ensure that provisions are put in place so a baseline standard is there for all children. Neglect, addiction and the suitability of a child’s environment are for other, related arms of the State to decide on and take action where necessary. Can you explain why making provisions for and supporting children of working parents should be at the expense of those without work or without the requisite number of stamps. How about young parents or young single parents? If they don’t have the requisite stamp payments why should they be disadvantaged?

      Interestingly, no-one here has heard the testimony from the interviewees or seen the programme but nonetheless happy to trot out views a little to right of Hitler. It’s desperately sad to think that there are 130 children born every year addicted to heroin or methadone and even sadder still to think that this is only one part of greater whole when it comes to the uneven footing that children in our society (indeed any society) have to endure from the get-go.

      1. newsjustin

        It’s even sadder to think that SOME people would have you believe that the best we can offer these 130 children is an abortion for their mother.

      1. Jake38

        So what? If it results in fewer babies with no hope and no future, other than in the criminal justice system, I’m all for it. Give it a little thought………

        1. scottser

          it won’t result in fewer babies being born to addicted mothers. on the contrary you’ll be looking at fewer numbers in treatment, taking more drugs, more crime and more babies born to addicted parents. if it was that easy or ethical it would have been done long ago. want to know what actually works? education. support. assistance. treatment. nothing worth having ever comes easy jake, and your’solution’ is just facile.

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