Number of Newborns Addicted to Painkillers Has Tripled Over The Last Decade
It's scary to think that more babies out there are born addicted to
painkillers like Vicodin or Oxycontin. Known as neonatal
abstinence syndrome, the symptoms are the same for babies addicted to heroin.
The study, published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, estimates that every hour a baby is born in the United States with symptoms of withdrawal (equivalent to roughly around 13,500 babies a year!). Babies born addicted to these drugs have to be treated with methadone for withdrawal symptoms.
It's no surprise especially now that prescription drug abuse is on the rise. As CDC researcher Andreea Creanga notes, it's not that more pregnant women are using drugs but more of the pregnant women who use drugs are using prescription painkillers. From USA Today:
The number of pregnant women who used or abused narcotic painkillers
increased fivefold from 2000 to 2009, his study found. These mothers now
account for 5.6 out of 1,000 hospital births a year, the study found.