New-born infants exposed in utero to opiates such as heroin may experience severe consequences.(32) Exposure to methadone ranges from a withdrawal syndrome to less predictable long-term outcomes. Methadone effects have been associated with reduced head circumference, increased body tension, poor motor co-ordination, and delay in motor skills acquisition. However, the effects on mental development are less clear, but they do affect the child-rearing environment. Since methadone exposure produces an increased vulnerability to the effects of poor parent-infant relationships, these relationships require careful monitoring.

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