Why Has the Number of Babies Born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Quadrupled Over the Last 15 Years?

We are living in the grips of an opioid epidemic. Not only is this epidemic affecting adults, but it is affecting babies. When Opioids affect babies, it is called Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (also called NAS). NAS occurs when a woman takes opioids during pregnancy.

This can happen innocently if a woman has been injured or had surgery and their medical provider gives them a prescription for opioids to help relieve pain and they become pregnant. These opioid drugs could be any of the following: Codein, Vicodin, Kadian, Avinza, OxyContin, Percocet or Tramadol.

You might be wondering, what has caused this epidemic? You might be wondering who is profiting from this epidemic? Well, we know it is not the government. Medicaid programs administered by various states covered 80% of the incredible $1.5 billion in costs for the treatment of drug-addicted babies at U.S. hospitals in 2012, the latest figures available. We know it is not the foster care system. Chris Carmichael, President of Royal Family Kids, has seen the opioid crisis affect foster care children. He states, “In the past year, we have seen a dramatic rise in the number of children entering foster care largely because of the current opioid crisis. The foster care system is already strained, and this surge of children entering the system is very alarming. Many of these children are addicted to opiates and suffer from a variety of trauma-based disorders.”

That leaves the drug companies who manufacture and sell these opioids as the beneficiary of this epidemic. If you are as concerned as we are about these babies, you might consider calling our senators and asking them to stop these drug companies from profiting off our babies. Senator Cotton can be reached at (202) 224-2353. Senator Boozman can be reached at (202) 224-4843. Or you can call us at (479) 202-5200, or just drop by. We’re located just off I-49 in Rogers, Arkansas. Our address is 3606 Southern Hills, Blvd., Suite 200, Rogers, AR. 72758.