The rate of babies born with drug withdrawal is eight times larger than the rate 10 years ago. Officials say the sharp climb is a direct result of Ohio’s opioid epidemic.
Babies born with neonatal abstinence syndrome, or NAS, experience a number of symptoms from low birth weight to seizures.
In 2006 there were 20 babies born with NAS for every 10,000 live births. In 2015, that number skyrocketed to 155 babies per 10,000 live births.
Rick Massatti of the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services says this growth mirrors the other alarming increases in opioid abuse.
“We don’t want to accept this as the new normal, we don’t want to accept this as the status quo.”
Massatti points to the Maternal Opiate Medical Support, or MOMS, program that help expecting mothers who are addicted. The state has requested for federal funding for this program.