Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome

Children exposed to drugs while still in the womb (in utero) may suffer from congenital anomalies and/or restrictions in growth, premature birth, signs of withdrawal or toxicity, and/or impaired brain development. Neonatal abstinence syndrome describes the group of problems that occur when an infant is exposed to certain drugs (e.g., opioids) in utero and exhibits symptoms of withdrawal or acute toxicity or signs consistent with long-term exposure. From 1995 to 2008, the number of infants diagnosed nationally with neonatal withdrawal syndrome increased from 7,653 to 11,937. Neonatal abstinence syndrome occurs in 55 percent to 94 percent of children exposed to opioids in utero.

Maternal use of certain drugs during pregnancy can result in transient neonatal signs consistent with withdrawal or acute toxicity, or cause sustained signs ...

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