Kentucky Infants Born Addicted

For a newborn, the world is a wondrous place of discovery and learning. Or at least it is supposed to be. Unfortunately, for many babies in Kentucky, this is not always the case.

Doctors in Kentucky have been inundated with infants born addicted to drugs. Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome or NAS results when a pregnant woman abuses opiates like painkillers or heroin or is given drug replacement therapy with methadone, Suboxone or Subutex. After birth, the baby’s exposure to opiates ceases and they go through withdrawal just like any addicted person would. Hospitals treat their withdrawals by weaning them off their dosages of opiates with diminishing doses of morphine or similar drug.

When one woman became pregnant, she switched onto Suboxone to try to prevent the child from suffering from NAS. She said:

“Once we get home, will she have any problems after going through all the withdrawal and the medicine she’s on? They say that’s the best thing to do, is go through the clinics, but when you do they end up withdrawing and social services gives you a hard time, too.”

The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services reported that in 2001, sixty-one babies were hospitalized for withdrawals. This number spiked to 955 in 2013. The situation has now been labeled a public health care crisis. 

Better care for the babies is essential but leaves the mothers untreated. This is a serious concern since the child goes home with a mother who may still be addicted. It is important that both sides of the issue are addressed and that the mothers are helped to recover from their addictions. Please call us today if you know anyone who is looking for recovery so we may assist them in receiving the care that can change their life. We also offer free drug education on the signs of drug abuse for all drugs, so please call today.