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Research: Increase Of Babies Born With Opiates’ Withdrawal

Dorathy Gass

It’s terrible when pregnant mothers don’t realize the negative effects that drugs have on their babies while in utero. When infants come into this world already dependent on heroin or other opiates, the symptoms can be unnerving. Inconsolable crying, shaking, diarrhea, vomiting; these are just some of the things newborns can suffer through when they are born with this dependency.

Sadly, when they are in the womb, the exposure to these drugs are offered via their mothers, so when they leave, they are cut off from these drugs and deal with the harsh reality of these high withdrawal symptoms.

Doesn’t seem like a fair thing for a baby to have to deal with. The news around this only gets worse.

Unfortunately, CNN has advised that new research that has recently been released reveals that this is an issue that is ever-increasing. In fact, across the United States neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), the official term used for this problem, has heightened close to five folds over the past ten years.

As per the research, the proportion of infants that deal with NAS seemed to be especially high in rural regions with over 12 percent from 2003 to 2004 has increased to just over 21 percent during the 2012 to 2013 years. Additionally, babies that suffer withdrawal among rural areas have increased to 7.5 from 1.2 per 1,000 hospital births; babies born in urban hospitals have increased to 4.8 from 1.4 per 1,000.

The research enveloped all obstetric and neonatal deliveries from 2004 to 2013. The numbers were gathered by the National Inpatient Sample data system. A decade ago, there were no variances when it came to NAS rates between urban and rural regions, however with this study, rural regions have seen an increase of almost a sevenfold since that time.

Sadly, infants that do suffer with opiate withdrawal are constantly irritable, uncomfortable, and find it hard to sleep. Other side effects that are more serious in nature include: growth delays and seizures. The even worst news is that NAS can place a huge strain on rural hospitals that already lack resources.

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