Prescription Drug Addiction Among Pregnant Women Becoming “Monstrous Tidal Wave”
Jul 05, 2012
The youngest victims of the prescription drug epidemic are the babies born addicted to the drugs their mothers were taking when they were pregnant. More than 13,000 babies a year are born in America addicted to prescription painkillers like OxyContin®, hydrocodone, and other narcotic drugs, according to a recent study. These babies may seem normal at birth, but within days start having symptoms likesevere shaking and tremors. The newborns also have trouble sleeping, feeding, and often shriek in pain, their bodies craving the medication they’re addicted to.
The number of babies born this way has increased dramatically over the past five years, said Dr. Mary Newport,director of the neonatal unit at the Spring Hill Regional Hospital north ofTampa, Florida. This year, she expects to treat nearly 20 times the number of infants going through withdrawal than she did in 2007. Doctors at the Cabell Huntington Hospital in Huntington, West Virginia, said that sometimes the neonatal unit is so full of babies going through withdrawal that newborns with other problems like prematurity have to be turned away due to lack of space.
The outlook for these babies is guardedly optimistic, but until large scale, long-term studies have been completed, no one really knows if they’ll have problems later in life. All that the doctors can say for sure is that as long as women keep abusing prescription pain pills and doctors keep overprescribing them, expect to see more and more babies suffer the consequences.
Learn more: Narcotics, Hydrocodone, Oxycodone
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