New mom, baby deal with heroin addiction issues

KSAT to follow Crystal Gutierrez through neonatal abstinence syndrome program

By Tiffany Huertas - Video Journalist

SAN ANTONIO - Crystal Gutierrez, 26, sits in a hospital bed, dehydrated, tired and sleepy.

She is surrounded by her aunt and mother. They are excited, but worried about the health of Gutierrez and her new baby.

Her pregnancy was not normal, however. She just finished doing heroin, and said she has been abusing drugs for a while.

"(I was) wild and crazy, and prostituting, and (using) drugs," Gutierrez said. "I used crack, cocaine and heroin."

Since a young age, Gutierrez also faced abuse at the hands of her relatives.

"At 9 years old, I was molested by my stepdad," Gutierrez said.

As year passed, it only became harder for Gutierrez.

"(I was) growing up fast, in and out of the streets. Disrespecting my family," Gutierrez said. "At 16, I got shot. I lost my best friend."

Dr. Scheel Nayar is the obstetrician gynecologist looking at the status of Gutierrez and her baby.

"Our primary concern is to find out if she is stable. And at the same time, keeping a very close eye on the baby," Nayar said.

Baptist Medical Center gave Gutierrez an opportunity to get better through their neonatal abstinence syndrom -- or NAS -- program.

Gutierrez accepted and will now go through their methadone program first.

"We now found if we have the mothers rooming in with the baby, (then) there is a greater bonding with mother and baby (and) it takes less time to detox off the heroin," Nayar said.

Gutierrez admits to making mistakes, but wants change.

This is not her first child that she had while abusing drugs. Gutierrez's mother, Lucia Cortez, is taking care of her daughter's first child.

"When (her first) baby was born, she stayed in the NICU for over a month and a half," Cortez said.

Although this isn't Gutierrez's first time giving birth while addicted to drugs, her family said they will stay by her side.

"I want you to know that I love you and I've always been behind you and even though I put my foot down and I shut my doors on you, that was the only way I needed you to hit rock bottom. So that way you can see there's nothing good out there," Cortez said.

Gutierrez's family hopes she completes this program and gets a second chance at life.

KSAT will follow Crystal during her journey in the NAS Program.

Copyright 2017 by KSAT - All rights reserved.