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Addiction & Children, Drug Addiction, Families & Addiction  |  December 22, 2016

New research just published in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) shows that the number of babies born with drug withdrawal symptoms from opioids (called neonatal abstinence syndrome or NAS) has increased substantially and that the increases are occurring more dramatically in rural areas than in cities.

The study’s researchers reported that the rate of newborns diagnosed with NAS increased in rural America from about 1 case per 1,000 in 2003-2004 to more than 7 cases per 1,000 in 2012-2013.

The increase in rural areas was found to be 80 percent higher than the increase found in urban areas.

In addition, the researchers reported infants born in rural areas now account for more than 21 percent of NAS cases nationwide compared to only 13 percent in 2003.

What’s causing the spike in cases?

Skyrocketing rates of opioid addiction in young mothers.  Researchers found that opioid use by rural pregnant women was 70% higher than rates seen in pregnant women in urban areas.

Is there a solution?

Yes.

First – physicians in rural America need to curb their addiction to prescribing this class of drugs – relying instead on other forms of effective treatment.

And access to opioid addiction treatment has to be greatly expanded in rural areas as well.  This effort needs to include both preventative education to expectant mothers on opioid use, as well as treatment for pregnant women who are already addicted to prescription drugs.

If you or someone you know is battling addiction to opioid drugs and you’d like to learn more about the remarkable difference our programs at Aware Recovery Care can make, please contact us.  We will travel to you and treat you wherever you live in Connecticut or New Hampshire and we are available 24/7.   To learn more visit: www.awarerecoverycare.com