According to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of babies born dependent on opioids increased by 300% between 1999 and 2013. These babies are born craving opioids and experiencing withdrawal symptoms, resulting in many physical and mental challenges. This data is derived from publicly available data from 28 states where information about opioid addiction has been archived. Terrifyingly enough, the CDC believes that the hospital data greatly underestimates the prevalence of drug-addicted infants. In the report, the CDC stated that neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) increased from 1.5 per 1,000 hospital births in 1999, to 6 per 1,000 hospital births in 2013.
The CDC believes that state governments have an important role to play in addressing this issue because they delegate funds for substance abuse treatment and recovery that are passed down from the federal government. In 2012 alone, Medicaid programs in some select states covered 80% of the whopping $1.5 billion in costs for the treatment of drug-addicted babies at hospitals. It would be ideal if even just a percentage of these funds went to helping the mothers before their babies were born addicted to drugs. The CDC urged the need for funding of a public health initiative to help pregnant women who are battling addiction. There needs to be more proactive attempts at helping these women before their babies are born already addicted to drugs. One such effort is the Perinatal Recovery Effort through Maternal Intervention and Education (Project P.R.E.M.I.E) in Santa Maria, California. This program provides pregnant women with a sober living environment, substance abuse programs, parenting classes, and nutrition and health support, regardless of the woman’s financial status. More programs and efforts such as Project P.R.E.M.I.E. need to happen to help expectant women abstain from opioids during pregnancy, and help them maintain lifelong abstinence and sobriety.
Recovery from drug and alcohol addiction is possible. If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction, please contact Recreate Life Counseling Services today at (844) 463-3968. Our outpatient program in Delray Beach, Florida is here to help you or your loved one recover from addiction and recreate your life. We believe that addiction recovery is possible for everyone. There is no shame in asking for professional help, so please reach out to us today. We are happy to answer any questions you may have about our treatment program or how we can help you.