Opiate Withdrawal in Newborns

 In Withdrawal

As opiate addiction continues to grow across the nation it is an unfortunate side effect that newborn babies are also a growing population suffering from the withdrawal effects of opiate abuse. Pregnant women who are addicted to opiates often think that quitting opiates cold turkey is best, but it is not. Learn about the dangers of quitting opiates while pregnant and what the safe alternatives are here.

Immediate Effects of Opiate Addiction on Newborns

Babies born to addicted mothers get addicted to opiates through the placenta. And just like adult or teenage opiate addicts, newborns will experience withdrawal known as NAS [Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome]. According to Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches  NAS involves a group of problems that occur in a newborn who was exposed to addictive drugs (often opiates) while in the mother’s womb. These symptoms can be severe and often start as early as 24 hours after birth and can last up to 10 days after.

Common Symptoms of Opioid-Induced NAS include:

  • High-pitched cry
  • Jitteriness
  • Temors
  • Convulsions
  • Fever
  • Sweating
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Mottling
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dehydration

Babies suffering from NAS need immediate medical attention. It is important that if you find yourself caring for a newborn showing the signs of NAS that you seek help and are honest about the possibility of NAS. Being honest and seeking medical attention will not get you in trouble. Doctors will appreciate your honesty and with this information will be able to help the newborn through these complications.

The juggling act of a busy mom

Effects of Opiates Addiction Long After Birth

Beyond just the short term effects of opioid withdrawal in newborns, there is the risk of developmental delays. It is not uncommon for NAS children to develop learning disabilities. A new study featured on CNN says these children may be more likely to perform poorly academically as they get older. By 7th grade, 38% of NAS children did not meet the minimum standards in at least one testing category.

I’m Pregnant and Addicted To Opiates

If you are pregnant and addicted to opiates it is important that you seek help from an addiction specialist. Your doctor will not judge you, shame you or turn you away. The health of your unborn child is at risk, but there are affordable and effective options available to you. At Opiate Treatment Centers of America our goal is to provide the most scientifically advanced therapies. All of our treatments are completely confidential and happen in the privacy of a doctor’s office. To OTCOA, you are not another face in the crowd. You are an individual with the potential to achieve lasting addiction-free success and we are on your team.

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