LITTLE ROCK (AP) — A new study by the Arkansas Department of Health says a record number of babies born in Arkansas are addicted to drugs.
The Little Rock CBS station KTHV reports that the study found the number of babies born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome in Arkansas increased more than tenfold between 2000 and 2014. The study attributes much of the withdrawal syndrome to opioid addiction.
Dr. Whit Hall, a neonatologist with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, says babies suffering from NAS have to stay in the hospital longer for assessment and treatment, which often means more exposure to opioids.
Hall says that a major concern for doctors is that opioid withdrawal symptoms may not surface for 5-7 days, meaning that newborns are already home and not under a doctor’s care.