USA Today recently reported on a new study that shows disturbing statistics: nearly 4 of every 1,000 infants born in a hospital in 2009 suffered from opiate withdrawal. That’s about 13,539 babies per year–one baby per hour. The study was published in The Journal of the American Medical Association.
The cause? Addicted pregnant women who continue to abuse opiates, mainly prescription painkillers, throughout their pregnancies.”The prevalence of drug use among pregnant women hasn’t changed since the early 2000s,” says Andreea Creanga, a researcher with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “but the types of drugs that women are using” are changing.
Marie Hayes, a psychology professor at the University of Maine, insists that our country has an obligation to help young babies who “have made no choices around drug abuse and addiction” and are thus “the most vulnerable and the most blameless” addicts in existence. The CDC has also pinpointed prescription drugs as a major – and growing – health threat in the United States, since prescription overdose deaths now outnumber overdoses from heroin and cocaine combined.
Source: USA Today