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Opioid-Dependent Newborn Treatment Changing?

Since the early 2000s opioid addiction has been a large problem in the United States. With it, another problem grew: opioid dependent newborns.

According to the New York Times, “babies born dependent on drugs grew nearly fivefold in the United States. Opioids are the main culprit, and states like Kentucky are particularly hard-hit: 15 of every 1,000 infants here are born dependent on opioids.”

This stat reflects information from 2003 to 2012, the last year for available statistics.

Babies with the worst withdrawal symptoms are regularly split from their birth mothers.

They’re then brought to hospital hours away and taking beds from other newborns with bigger problems, like heart defects.

This makes it difficult for mothers struggling with addiction, to take the time to visit their newborn.

Additionally, removing newborns from their mothers deprives them of their biggest asset. Studies have shown that separating a mother and an opioid-dependant newborn will hinder their growth. It can slow infants’ recovery. When their mothers are around, these infants require less medication, expensive days in intensive care, and helps to burgeon a strong parenting relationship.

[via Twitter]

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