DANGEROUS SITUATION: Aunty Cheri Yavu-Kama-Harathunian had told how one mother tried to soothe her crying baby with ice.
DANGEROUS SITUATION: Aunty Cheri Yavu-Kama-Harathunian had told how one mother tried to soothe her crying baby with ice. SImon Young

Ice-addicted parents exposing babies to ice

A LACK of knowledge about the dangers of ice, especially on unborn babies, is creating a scary cycle of drug abuse.

Shocking instances of the ice epidemic's stranglehold on addicts and its further reaching impact on the next generation was witnessed first-hand by an IWC chaplain, who had to physically stop an addicted mother giving ice to her year-old baby.

IWC chaplain and director Aunty Cheri Yavu-Kama-Harathunian told the Courier-Mail the mother was attempting to soothe her crying baby with ice.

"She was a loving mum. In her mind she was doing the right thing. The baby was agitated. She said her baby sucked on it, not knowing that what she was doing was creating an addiction," Aunty Cheri said.

"The impact on the brain would have been enormous and only the Lord knows how long she was doing this with the child."

Aunty Cheri told the NewsMail a lack of knowledge had created the dangerous situation.

"This lack of awareness of the dangers of ice to both the user and, if that person is pregnant, to an unborn child is chilling. It is something IWC is moving to address in our community."

Aunty Cheri said IWC was in talks with Dr Amber Logan and Dr Joseph Stone, clinical psychologists leading research on the impacts of crystal meth on unborn babies, so they could provide information and education around the crucial issue to Bundy's community.

Dr Logan and Dr Stone presented at the 2017 National Indigenous Drug and Alcohol Misuse Conference hosted by IWC in Brisbane this year.

Dr Logan told the drug and alcohol conference it was vital for communities to understand the neurological, physical and psychological effects of in-utero exposure to ice.

"A severely impaired child will never live independently, will never get a job and they will tend to bounce between jail and mental health institutions as they grow up," she said.

She said many children suffering from the effects of ice in the womb went undiagnosed, often labelled as ADHD or having post traumatic stress disorder.

Aunty Cheri said it was made clear at the conference that one of the keys to identifying the extent of ice on an unborn child was to remove shame from the conversation.

"As Dr Logan made clear, we must not stigmatise the mother, but instead seek to find ways to provide informed and helpful information that will assist potential parents to make informed decisions that will positively affect both their own, and their child's, life."