Huntington, WV – When a baby is born, it is supposed to be a joyous occasion, but the awful truth is that some children are being born suffering from severe withdrawals from prescription pills with serious symptoms that are very costly to treat.
Although this video is from 2015, it still shows the harsh truth of babies being born addicted to opioids. Cabell Huntington Hospital in Huntington, WV released a video showing a baby suffering with neonatal abstinence syndrome, or NAS, which is several symptoms caused by exposure to addictive drugs.
“Drugs such as opiates/narcotics, cocaine, amphetamines, barbiturates, and benzodiazepines pass through the placenta to the baby during pregnancy and the baby becomes addicted, along with the mother,” Shawn Jordan, production and media relations manager of Cabell Huntington Hospital said.
Symptoms of NAS include:
- Blotchy skin coloring (mottling)
- Slow weight gain
- Increased muscle tone
- Excessive or high-pitched crying
- Hyperactive reflexes
- Poor feeding
- Rapid breathing
- Sleep problems
- Stuffy nose, sneezing
According to an investigation by Reuters, more than 130,000 babies born in the United States between 2004 and 2014 were born addicted to opioids.
Federal laws have expanded their capacity to protect babies addicted to opioid in utero. In 2015 the Protecting Our Babies Act was signed into law. This law creates funding for treatment with affected babies and provides education for mothers.
“The Protecting Our Infants Act will also identify the gaps in current research related to NAS and the long-term consequences of in-utero drug exposures,” information for March of Dimes said.
The law puts more responsibility on state Departments of Health and Human Services to begin putting together case files for babies who are born addicted to drugs to begin better collection of data of areas where issues are developing.
Depending on the severity of a baby’s addiction and mother’s usage of drugs, neonatal abstinence syndrome is treatable.