Mamau ar Heroin Taro Naw


Mamau ar Heroin

Ymchwiliad arbennig i fyd tywyll a pheryglus y rhieni sy'n gaeth i gyffuriau. A special investigation into the dark and dangerous world of parents with a drug addiction.


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Transcript


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This mother fed her baby methadone to try and hide her drug problem.

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She was jailed and her baby is in care.

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I miss my children.

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I have to live with what I've done.

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I hope they'll forgive me when they're older.

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Subtitles

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Subtitles

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In February 2010, Nia Wyn Jones was sentenced after...

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..the court found her guilty...

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..of mistreating her daughter by feeding her methadone.

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The mother-of-three was jailed for three years.

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The incident shook the local community.

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No-one believed a mother could do such a thing.

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But Nia Jones' story isn't unique.

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Due to their drug addiction and their mental state...

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..mothers who use drugs don't look for help...

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..in case they lose their children.

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During her time in prison, Nia Jones was bullied...

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..because of what she did to her baby.

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She escaped from prison and, during that time, she spoke to Taro Naw.

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Her life on drugs was full of deception...

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..and very bleak.

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I started smoking cannabis with him.

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I didn't realise he was putting heroin in the cannabis.

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I got up one morning feeling ill, with withdrawal symptoms...

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..and I didn't know what was going on.

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I had the habit by then. I wanted it at that point.

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This is the man she says forced her to take drugs.

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Grant Yuill was jailed for eight years after being found guilty...

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..of putting methadone in his daughter's milk bottle.

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Aged 38, Yuill was also guilty of giving drugs...

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..to the baby's mother, Nia.

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He said he was going to bury me in the garden and set the house alight.

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He hit me as well so I was afraid of him because he was physical.

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I thought I was safer staying with him...

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..because he threatened to do those things if I left.

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I didn't know where to get help.

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You're too embarrassed to tell your family that you're on heroin.

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You lie to avoid hurting them.

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The court heard Nia Wyn Jones, who lived in Caernarfon...

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..put the drug in her daughter's milk.

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The judge said the amount of methadone the baby was fed...

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..was the same as giving her a full bag of heroin each day.

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Nia had two sons and was becoming more reliant on her partner.

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Twice a day. Every morning and night.

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You can't survive without it.

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You're too ill to get the kids ready for school and cook...

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..and do normal things.

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It helps you function.

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You're the same person, but you can do the things you have to do.

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But Nia Jones' story isn't unique.

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It's hard to estimate how many mothers use drugs...

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..while they're pregnant.

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Jane - not her real name...

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..raised her children while addicted to heroin for years.

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I took it regularly. Three or four times a day.

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By the end, I got fed up with it and just took it once...

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..to sort me out and stop me getting ill.

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It's terribly addictive.

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If you don't take it, you're ill.

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You can't face the day without taking it.

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You spend your day looking for a fix...

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..which makes it difficult to go about your business.

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Otherwise you're ill.

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I've heard that heroin goes into the muscles...

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..and then methadone goes into the bones.

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When you're ill, it's worse.

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Basically, heroin is easier to come off than methadone.

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The only other choice for addicts is to try and come off the drug.

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A process called 'cold turkey'.

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You have goose pimples, you have cold sweats...

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..you have cramp in your stomach...

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..it comes out of... you vomit...

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..and it comes out of the bottom.

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You get pains in your legs and hands.

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It feels very dirty.

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According to Welsh Government statistics...

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..after alcohol, heroin is the drug which is used most.

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Between 2010 and last year...

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..drugs agencies dealt with 5,000 cases relating to heroin.

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Sian - not her real name - is a mother of two children.

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Like Jane, she didn't have money, so raising children and finding...

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..the next fix was difficult.

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She fell in with the wrong crowd.

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I was mixing with people older than me.

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I saw them smoking it and it was something new so I tried it.

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I became addicted.

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How old were you?

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Sixteen or seventeen.

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Sian has two children.

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Across England and Wales...

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..it's estimated that 20,000 to 30,000 children are raised...

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..by families where both parents are addicted to drugs.

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For those with experience, the appeal is obvious.

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It starts before you take the stuff.

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You feel like you've got the flu, you're aching all over...

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..but once you've taken it you feel relaxed and happy.

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It's like taking a medicine to feel better.

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I had to shop-lift to pay for it.

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Nia didn't steal to buy drugs. She had other problems.

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After being addicted to heroin, she became reliant on methadone.

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She was also trying to raise two children, but things got worse.

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He was getting methadone but I wasn't, so he gave me methadone.

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I had lost weight, my periods had stopped...

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..and I found out I was pregnant after I was five months gone...

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..so it was too late to have an abortion.

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When I was in hospital...

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..he said the only way to keep the children from social services...

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..was to feed her methadone so that she didn't have withdrawal symptoms.

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No-one knew Nia was on methadone while she was pregnant.

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When her daughter was born...

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..she was worried the baby would crave the drug...

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..and Grant Yuill told her she should put methadone...

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..in the child's milk.

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I felt guilty.

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When she had a temperature, you just wanted her to be alright.

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She was crying for it, in a way, by the end.

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I tried to tell the nurse on the day she was born...

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..but Grant walked into the room.

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He walked in at that point.

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After being fed methadone in her milk, the girl became ill.

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She was taken to Ysbyty Gwynedd three times.

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On her last visit, a nurse noticed that the milk was green...

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..and contained methadone.

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I took her to hospital when she had bronchitis...

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..and they noticed that the milk was a different colour.

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He wasn't there at the time.

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The social worker at the hospital called me to one side...

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..and I admitted everything.

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She called the police.

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They told me to call Mam to pick the other children up.

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There was so much deception surrounding the case...

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..Yuill was sending methadone to his partner in hospital...

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..in a teddy which was put on a bus.

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He also decided how much methadone to give.

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He came down on the bus to get methadone from Caernarfon...

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..and then put it in a bottle.

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He used a Zippy from Rainbow, he put the bottle inside...

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..and gave it to the bus driver to bring down.

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The bus driver didn't know what was in it.

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Due to the serious concern for the baby's health...

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..she was taken from her mother.

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Nia Jones says the strength of the drugs...

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..meant she didn't realise how serious the situation was.

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I didn't realise what I was doing.

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I just... I don't know.

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You don't think the same when you're on drugs...

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..and being influenced by someone else.

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You don't think about the implications.

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But even among other mothers who are drug addicts...

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..there isn't much sympathy for what Nia did.

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If she does that, whet else is she capable of?

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There are a lot of people who have their children taken away...

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..and they don't harm their children.

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It wouldn't be fair for her to keep her child.

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If she hadn't had the baby, she wouldn't have done this.

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Methadone can kill people who aren't used to it...

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..so she shouldn't have given methadone...

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..to her baby.

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For me, she was foolish to give it to the baby.

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I feel for her, but she should have asked for help.

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Nia Jones was jailed for three years...

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..for feeding her baby methadone.

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She was bullied in prison and she escaped.

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During that time, she spoke to Taro Naw.

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Her daughter has been adopted...

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..and her two other children live with a relative.

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Nia Jones says she misses her daughter...

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..who is now almost three.

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Yes.

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The boys miss her as well.

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She might not remember, but the boys remember.

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The boys blame themselves, in a way.

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Social services say they blame themselves.

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That's why they're having counselling as well.

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There is increasing concern among those in the medical field...

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..that more girls on heroin or methadone are having babies.

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They even have specialist midwives in Wales...

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..to help addicts make sure they have a successful pregnancy.

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It's very dangerous to take heroin during...

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..a pregnancy.

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We don't know how much heroin...

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..is in the bags of heroin.

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We don't know what the heroin is mixed with.

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A lot of things are mixed with heroin.

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At Singleton Hospital in Swansea...

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..there are antenatal classes for drug-users once a week.

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The aim is to make sure that specialists are available...

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..to step in if necessary.

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It's important for a mother to come to the clinic...

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..because they receive specialist antenatal support.

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We work with people like social services...

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..because the girls are worried they'll lose their child.

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It's important to come to the clinic...

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..so that we can work together...

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..with social services, in particular.

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That's a big problem for pregnant women who are taking drugs.

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Some social workers are fine, but others are quite judgemental.

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They speak down to you.

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How much do you blame yourself?

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I know I'm to blame and I should have found help.

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But you don't think like that.

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I can't change it now. It's happened.

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Following a request from Taro Naw...

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..under the Freedom of Information Act...

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..the Abertawe Bro Morgannwg Health Board has revealed...

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..that nine babies were born to mothers addicted to heroin...

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..mothers like Sian and Jane, within the last year.

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During the same period, 77 were born to mothers like Nia Jones...

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..who were addicted to methadone.

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During the same year, 19 babies were placed in council care...

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..because their mothers were addicted to drugs.

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According to one expert...

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..mothers shouldn't worry too much about that.

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I don't think it's the norm for someone to lose a child...

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..if they're still using drugs.

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It's possible to work with parents...

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..to try and make sure the child is safe and minimise the risk.

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Of course, with some parents, it's best if the child isn't there.

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But that's not necessarily what will happen with everyone.

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Some people can be good parents.

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Only a minority of babies who are born to mothers...

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..who are addicted to heroin or methadone...

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..are placed in the care of social services.

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Although it's difficult, most of the mothers...

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..many of them single parents, try to carry on.

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It was hard getting up with them in the morning and feeling ill...

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..and knowing I'd have to find money somewhere...

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..in order to feel better...

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..and have more patience with the children.

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I didn't have the patience to do anything, but I had to carry on.

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It was difficult because people saw me going to these places...

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..to get the stuff and so on.

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So people were talking and hearing things.

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It was difficult to hide it.

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I kept constant contact with my children...

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..even though I was a heroin addict.

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So you were using heroin...

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..but you had enough control to bring up your children?

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When I wasn't, I'd take them to my aunt.

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My aunt has done a lot for me.

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Was there a point where you felt...

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..you couldn't cope with two children?

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When I was ill, when I had days when I was ill...

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..I'd send the children to my aunt's house...

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..and she'd look after them until I sorted myself out.

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Although the information Taro Naw received...

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..under the Freedom of Information Act from the health boards...

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..wasn't complete, it was obvious that most mothers...

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..who are addicted to drugs are allowed to keep their children...

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..and that many of them receive help from their families.

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I'd say we understand that they feel guilty if they take drugs...

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..while they're pregnant.

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We want to ensure that everyone works together.

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Some can't stop using...

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..and we have to say we can work with them...

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..to ensure that the baby is healthy when it's born.

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We also have to say that social services, in particular...

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..that we can work with them...

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..to ensure that babies aren't taken away by social workers.

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It's difficult to find facts...

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..about how many children are taken into care...

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..but through another request under the Freedom of Information Act...

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..we found out from Cardiff and the Vale University Health Board...

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..that 74 babies were born to mothers on methadone...

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..during the last two years.

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55 of them went home with their mothers and 19 went into care.

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This woman is a lecturer in social work at Bangor University.

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Every decision is made...

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..based on the circumstances of each individual case.

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The assessment will look at the concerns of the family...

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..the needs of the child...

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..what kind of support the mother has...

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..and what kind of services are available.

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A decision will be made on how to move forward.

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Fiona Macdonald is educating the social workers of the future...

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..people who will have to work closely with parents...

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..and particularly mothers, who are addicted to heroin or methadone.

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Emergency steps can be taken by the police or social services...

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..with the support of court orders.

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But if the situation isn't as serious as that...

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..they'd look at what kind of support they could offer.

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Do they need support workers to work with the family?

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Do they need to be referred to external agencies?

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Does the child need to go to a nursery?

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Anything that could help the family to cope better.

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After realising they were in danger of losing their children...

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..because they couldn't cope with being mothers who took drugs...

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..some were looking for support.

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I went to them myself and asked for help.

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I was fed up of being ill every day...

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..looking for money and being arrested and fined all the time.

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I struggled and fought because I didn't want to lose my children.

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There are a lot of people out there...

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..who have lost their children.

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I know people who haven't been able to cope with it.

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But Nia Jones took a different path.

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Her decisions and attitude led to three years...

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..in a prison and hostel and destroyed her family.

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I tried to commit suicide in the hostel.

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I took a lot of paracetamol.

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But the doctor didn't believe I'd tried to commit suicide...

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..because my liver was fine.

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The hostel manager said I'd done it for attention.

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The help wasn't there. They didn't want to know why I'd done it.

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She shouted at me for causing trouble.

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She feared for her safety in Styal Prison because other prisoners...

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..wanted revenge when they heard she'd given her baby methadone.

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I was bullied at Styal.

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I thought it was alright.

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I was recalled for 28 days for going out for a drink...

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..and they took me back to Styal and I was bullied there.

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I'm willing to go to New Hall, but not Styal...

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..because I'd have to live in fear there.

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What do the bullies do?

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They see you as a paedophile.

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If you've done anything to children, that's what they class you as.

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In Styal, I was frightened to leave my cell to eat.

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There is little provision for mothers...

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..who are addicted to heroin or methadone...

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..and looking to the future...

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..especially in the current economic climate...

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..it's hard to see things improving.

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However, there is a glimmer of hope.

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We're very lucky in Wales because the Government prioritises...

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..and tries to develop services...

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..for people with drug and alcohol problems.

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It's not possible to say that there are enough resources...

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..because you always need more and more.

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Nia Jones left prison after being bullied...

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..but has now returned there voluntarily.

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However, before returning, she said she knew it was possible...

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..that she'd never know her daughter.

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I have to live with what I did.

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Obviously, I don't know if her adoptive parents...

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..will tell her about the circumstances.

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In the end, it's up to her if she wants to find me.

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I haven't got the option of finding her.

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I've made her a memory box...

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..so that she can try and understand what happened.

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Family photos and so on.

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Do you want her to find you?

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Yes. It would be nice.

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It would be nice to tell her my side properly...

0:22:250:22:29

..because not all the things in the papers were true.

0:22:290:22:33

S4C subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:22:550:22:57

.

0:22:580:22:58

Fe fwydodd methadone i'w babi a chafodd ei charcharu. Dihangodd o'r carchar ar ol cael ei bwlio a gwneud cyfweliad a Taro 9. Ond nid hi yw yr unig fam i ddilyn llwybr o'r fath. Ymchwiliad arbennig i fyd tywyll a pheryglus y rhieni sy'n gaeth i gyffuriau. She fed her baby methadone and was sent to prison. She escaped from prison after being bullied and did an interview for Taro 9. But she isn't the only mother to follow this path. Tonight's programme is a special investigation into the dark and dangerous world of parents with a drug addiction. Transmitted on 09/10/2012 at 9pm.


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