Newborns Addicted to Pain Pills Up 300%
Hospitals trying to invent treatment programs
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted Dec 29, 2012 3:43 PM CST
More than 13,000 babies were born in 2009 addicted to prescription drugs like painkillers.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Heartbreaking medical news: Cases of babies born addicted to pain pills are up more than 300% over the past decade, forcing doctors and nurses to invent treatments on the fly, the Wall Street Journal reports. Crying non-stop, vomiting, jerking their limbs, these newborns are the result of America's addiction to drugs called opioids—including anti-addiction drugs like methadone and painkillers like oxycodone. More than 13,000 such babies were diagnosed in the US in 2009.

Ill-prepared hospitals have created different treatments, with one giving babies methodone and another trying morphine. But then newborns have to be weaned off of those drugs. Worse, care for drug-addicted babies can take weeks and fatten hospital bills; one study found a mean cost of $53,400, with Medicaid covering 78% of the cases. And hospital staffs worry about babies they fail to diagnose: "Some are going home and withdrawing," said one doctor who noted that drug-addicted mothers may not be ready for such difficult, sensitive babies.

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Showing 3 of 14 comments
Jan 1, 2013 9:39 AM CST
To hell with the babies... here is the real story! "one study found a mean cost of $53,400, with Medicaid covering 78% of the cases" so big pharma gets you hooked on their poison... making money.... then the care that is provided to your drug addicted baby is making them even more money paid for by the tax payers... all the while their CEO;s are raking in huge pay... and to top it off the private prisons are locking up other addicts to fill their cells and stock the slave labor ponds of capitalism...
Dec 29, 2012 5:37 PM CST
One statistic you won't see: how many babies are born addicted to all the things psychiatrists prescribe for depression, anxiety, insomnia and fatigue. The pharmaceutical industry won't permit it to happen. They just want to sell more Celexa, Provigil, Ativan and Ambien.
Dec 29, 2012 4:18 PM CST
These symptoms are the same as newborns that have heavy metal poisoning, because their mother also has it, thereby giving it to them in-utero. For those pregnant women that are addicted, and refuse to get treatment and stay clean, abortion may be the best answer. Their addiction is only a symptom of deeper and more serious problems going on in their life. Bad scenario, with little hope of good outcome.