September 27, 2016

CHANGE: More US babies born addicted to opiates like heroin.

The proportion of U.S. babies born suffering from withdrawal syndrome after exposure to heroin or prescription opiates in utero has more than doubled in less than a decade, a study suggests.

Researchers focused on what’s known as neonatal abstinence syndrome, a condition akin to withdrawal that develops when babies essentially become addicted to drugs their mothers use during pregnancy.

Nationally, the rate of neonatal abstinence syndrome involving mothers’ use of opiates – which includes heroin as well as prescription narcotics like codeine and Vicodin – surged from 2.8 cases for every 1,000 births in 2009 to 7.3 cases for every 1,000 births in 2013, the study found.

The story notes that people are turning to heroin because it’s become harder to get a hold of prescription drugs to abuse. I’m not sure that’s progress.

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