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Babies Addicted to Opioids Increasing

Update Date: Feb 10, 2017 07:30 AM EST

A rapid increase in the number of babies who have opioid addiction has increased by 538 percent from 2006 to 2015 in Missouri. This disturbing new study shows the effects of the overuse of pain medications in treating expecting mothers.

Eight in every 1,000 babies born in Missouri are now suffering from opioids dependency in the state, as reported by Daily Caller. The data was released by the Missouri Hospital Association last February 7. Babies that are born with opioids dependency are likely more prone to seizures, cries excessively and are having a hard time feeding compared to children that are not dependent on the drug.

This is being attributed to the over-prescribing of the drug to expectant mothers. The threshold in treating pain has gone one drastically in the last years, thus resulting from an increase of pregnant mothers seeking opioid medications and the like.

Experts and officials are now considering placing a stricter system in tracking patients and limiting the prescription of opioids amongst pregnant women. A legislature for a bill placing limitations in the prescription and the use of the drug is also underway.

Meanwhile, CNN reports that opioids, a type of heroin can also cause shaking, vomiting and diarrhea in newborn babies. As a child is born, they are no longer exposed to the drug, thus they experience withdrawal. The outbreak has also reached Huntington in West Virginia. The withdrawals this babies experience is known as the neonatal abstinence syndrome and is rapidly increasing epidemic.

Most children who are suffering from these withdrawal effects are from rural communities.  Around 1-7.5 per 1,000 babies experience the syndrome in rural areas while 1-4.8 in every 1,000 is experienced in urban areas.

Babies that are experiencing the neonatal abstinence syndrome also has difficulty in sleeping, irritable and uncomfortable. Growth delays are also included in the serious side effects of their dependency to opioids.

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