The Number of Infants With Opioid Withdrawal Continues to Rise!

by | Dec 23, 2019 | Rehab Center Orlando

The number of infants with opioid withdrawal has been rising throughout the nation. As this number continues to go up, academic medical centers are developing promising new methods to treat these infants and provide support to their mothers. Read on to learn more about the rising number of babies born addicted to drugs and how medical treatment is dealing with the issue. Hope Centers of Central Florida provides adult drug treatment centers in Orlando and other areas. Call Hope Centers of Central Florida today for a consultation about our programs.

Research For Treating Newborns

At Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital, they have had the same protocol for treating newborns with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) for many decades. Like the majority of U.S. hospitals, Yale Children’s doctors utilized the “Finnegan” tool, which was developed in the 1970s, to test babies for signs of drug withdrawal. If the newborns were at the threshold for NAS, they got transferred to the neonatal intensive care unit. But in 2010, with increasing amounts of babies affected by their mothers’ opioid use, a second look at the approach was taken. Yale’s Children’s began to move away from pharmacologic approaches, in which infants were gradually weaned off of opioids to treat NAS. The new method focuses on a low-stimulation environment that keeps babies and moms together so infants are able to breastfeed and benefit from being with their mothers. Yale Children’s is only one of several academic medical centers around the country dedicated to aid the growing numbers of pregnant women and newborns whoa re affected by opioid use. The National Institute on Drug Abuse noes that the amount of babies born with NAS multiplied by five from 2000 to 2012, affecting an estimated 21,737 infants. Medical schools and teaching hospitals spearheaded efforts that range from early screening of pregnant women to supporting families with services such as adult drug treatment centers following the birth of a baby.

Rising Number Of Babies Born Addicted To Drugs

Between 55% and 94% of babies born to mothers addicted to or treated with opioids while pregnant can develop neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), notes a 2016 New England Journal of Medicine article. Common symptoms of NAS are tremors, poor appetite, breathing problems, and fever. While measurement and treatment varies depending on the hospital, recent research is shifting towards nonpharmacologic approaches, such as breastfeeding when appropriate and physical touch by caregivers. Close to one-tenth of the babies born at Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock in New Hampshire were at risk for opioid withdrawal in 2015 and 2016. They also promoted the connection between moms and babies, with positive results- less use of medication, fewer withdrawal symptoms, and shorter hospital stays.

Contact Us Today

As the amount of babies born addicted to drugs continue to increase, treatment methods continue to evolve in order to meet their needs. Hope Centers of Central Florida provide adult drug treatment centers throughout Orlando and other areas. Call Hope Centers of Central Florida today for a consultation with our drug treatment specialists.

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