On August 10, 2018, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported an increase in babies born to opioid addicted mothers (also known as mothers with opioid use disorder). Hospital discharge data show that opioid addiction or opioid use disorder among women who have just given birth increased at more than a four-fold rate between 1999 and 2014 in 28 states from which data could be obtained. This amounted to a 333% national increase in mothers and newborns affected by opioid use disorder or opioid addiction.
The CDC stated that the reported increase in babies born to opioid addicted mothers is consistent with:
- earlier documented increases in opioid use disorder / opioid addiction in women giving birth
- earlier documented increases in neonatal abstinence syndrome in infants born to mothers with opioid use disorder / opioid addiction
- state rates of opioid prescriptions in the general population
Among the states included in the data, California and Hawaii had the lowest rates of increase in babies born to opioid addicted mothers. States with the highest increases were Maine, New Mexico, Vermont, and West Virginia.
Effects of Increase in Babies Born to Opioid Addicted Mothers
Use of opioids during pregnancy can pose serious and continuing health problems for both mother and child. The CDC made special note of the following significant adverse effects of opioid use disorder / opioid addiction in pregnant women:
- preterm labor
- death of mother / maternal mortality
- neonatal abstinence syndrome / opioid withdrawal by infant
Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS)
Neonatal abstinence syndrome, or NAS, is one of the most devastating consequences of the growing increase in babies born to opioid addicted mothers. Neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) is a group of illnesses or health conditions suffered by babies who are withdrawing from drugs they were exposed to in the womb.
Opioids used by women during pregnancy pass through the placenta and are the most frequent cause of NAS. This can lead to:
- developmental problems
- breathing difficulties
Increase in Babies Born to Opioid Addicted Mothers
Feldman & Pinto’s drug injury lawyers offer representation to people who have suffered personal injuries due to opioid addiction. (See Philadelphia Opioid Addiction Lawyers.) Our firm also offers representation to counties and other governmental entities, hospitals, labor unions, and insurance companies whose costs have increased due to the opioid crisis. See: