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Sharp Rise In Infants Born With Opiate Withdrawal In The United States

A recent study has shown a sharp rise in the number of infants that have been born addicted to Opiates in the United States, and the figures surrounding this have brought some very serious issues to light relating to pain pill addiction in the western world. Many people are referring to this as a “pain pill epidemic”, and while many professionals have known about the existence of this issue, it is studies such as this one that show the widespread effects that Opiate addiction can have on a population.


The Specifics Of The Study

According to the study that was conducted in 2009, the number of babies that have been born with Opiate withdrawal have actually increased more than three times over the past decade. This study was recently published by the Journal of the American Medical Association and it showed that as of 2009, 1 in every 1,000 babies were affected by this withdrawal.

The same study went to lengths to test women who were pregnant for signs of either illegal or legal Opiates, and it was found that more than 5 times the number of women showed signs of testing positive for this drug when compared with those within the last decade. One of the reasons why this has become such a problem, according to the study, is the steady rise in pain killer abuse.

Babies Born In Withdrawal

The study took over 4,000 hospitals into account so that a thorough number of records could be extracted and studied. These documents showed that about 13,500 babies in 2009 were actually born with withdrawal symptoms. This basically means that a baby is born every hour that is suffering from withdrawal symptoms of Opiates.

According to the medical professionals who have handled births such as these in the past, babies who are struggling with this condition appear quite uncomfortable after birth, and according to one expert, they tend to breathe slightly faster than others who are born at the same time. It should be noted that not every woman who abuses Opiates will have children who are born with these symptoms.

Significant Effects

While some babies might seem a little uncomfortable and have a higher breathing rate, others are at an increased risk for developing quite severe symptoms, including restlessness, seizures and being born prematurely. Some babies were born with such severe withdrawal symptoms that they had to undergo replacement drug therapy with methadone in order to help wean them off the drug. Those babies who show signs of dependency are often retained in the hospital for just over two weeks. This is compared to an average baby who usually needs no more than 3 days before they are allowed to be admitted from the hospital.

High Costs

One of the more practical problems that are faced by hospital staff dealing with these high incidences of Opiate dependency in babies is that this often puts a bigger strain on the hospital. Many of the mothers who fall into this category are those who are entitled to health care assistance, so they end up depending on the hospital to cover the costs.

Legitimate Pain Killers

The researchers who conducted the study have found that many of the women whose babies were struggling with Opiate withdrawal were actually using prescribed medications for legitimate reasons, which is why they suggested that more be done in order to protect the unborn babies from these drugs. The study, as the researchers explained, aimed at calling attention to the growing problem that is faced by people throughout the United States where pain killers are concerned.

While Opiate medications are often considered a very high quality pain management drug, many professionals believe that it is being over prescribed, and in many cases, illegally distributed. This is making it difficult to control the use of the drug, and paving the way for some very big problems within the country.

As it stands, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have labeled painkiller abuse as an epidemic, and painkillers currently cause more overdose-related deaths than cocaine and heroin combined.

Tackling Addiction

Addiction comes in a variety of forms, and in order to understand it, professionals need to uncover how even regular use of medications such as pain killers end up affecting individuals. Painkillers, for instance, might seem like the solution to a problem, but when use turns to abuse, it can end up affecting people in many more ways than they might have initially thought and this is when the subject warrants attention.

If you or someone you know is addicted to Opiates or Pain Killers call (866) 434-2630 or get help now

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