Babies Born with Opioid Addiction
The sad effects of the opioid epidemic have ravaged the lives of people across the country and while extensive research has been conducted on opioid addiction in adults, the medical community is just starting to uncover how opioid dependency at birth can negatively affect children for decades.
Babies born to mothers who used opioids while pregnant are typically diagnosed with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) or Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome (NOWS). This condition typically occurs when a woman is prescribed opioids to treat chronic pain, develops an addiction, and later becomes pregnant. Exposure in utero causes the fetus to become dependent on opioids and suffer from withdrawal upon birth. The withdrawal symptoms are acute and long-ranging, resulting in significant suffering in the first months of life as well as ongoing developmental and growth delays.