In 2000, 29 newborn babies were hospitalized in the state of Kentucky because they were born with prescription drug addiction. During pregnancy, if a woman uses drugs, they will be passed in utero to the unborn child. That child, in turn, will be born addicted to the substances the mother was taking. After birth, the newborn goes into withdrawals that are referred to as Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome. The newborn will experience the same pain and discomfort that any adult going through withdrawals would.
Between 2000 and 2013, an addicted baby was born every 25 minutes in the United States. In 2014, over 1000 babies were born addicted in Kentucky. This problem isn’t localized in Kentucky, although it is statistically the most dramatic increase.
In 2012, 22,000 babies were born addicted to a substance, nationwide. Though Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) has been a problem for some time, doctors attribute the recent and dramatic increase to the increase in issuing and abuse of prescription drugs, especially Opioids.
The Journal of the American Medical Association released a financial study of healthcare costs for newborns, it found that the total cost in 2000 was $190 million, compared to $1.5 billion in 2012. On average, babies with NAS spend 16 days in the hospital and cost the government-funded Medicaid programs around $53,400 per infant.
A woman who gives birth to a baby diagnosed with NAS can face serious consequences, although criminal charges are unlikely in the state of Kentucky. Child Protective Services is required to step in on behalf of the newborn and can result in the custody of the baby being taken away from the mother. Some women must go through treatment to keep their babies, but others lose custody all together.
If you or someone you know is pregnant and struggling with prescription drug addiction, please call A Better Today Recovery Services at 888-906-0952. Our addiction specialists can answer questions you might have and get you connected with a treatment facility.