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Pregnant mothers who abuse heroin or certain narcotic painkillers during pregnancy cause their newborns great suffering during their first days and weeks of life. Heroin, oxycodone and similar drugs are known as opioids.  Opiate addiction is more prevalent in Georgia and the suburbs of Atlanta than most states. On March 31, 2015 U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) introduced legislation to address the rise of prenatal opioid abuse and infants suffering from opioid withdrawal. The Protecting Our Infants Act would direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop recommendations for preventing and treating prenatal opioid abuse and for treating infants born addicted to opioids.  Also, the bill would encourage the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to work with states like Georgia to help them improve surveillance and data collection activities regarding this problem.

Nationwide, there has been a staggering 300-percent increase in the number of infants diagnosed with newborn withdrawal since 2000. Experts believe even more cases that go unreported.

Babies, the most innocent members of our society, can be spared the sufferings of opioid withdrawals.  Researchers estimate that more than one baby every hour is born in the United States dependent on drugs and suffering from withdrawals. This statistic is as anger provoking as it is heart-breaking. Children are the most innocent of our society, and we have to protect them,” Senator McConnell said.

The Protecting Our Infants Act is supported by the March of Dimes, American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Babies born to addicted mothers may have a condition known as neonatal abstinence syndrome.  These babies have serious withdrawal symptoms in the first few weeks of life when exposed to illicit or prescribed narcotics during pregnancy.   These infants have symptoms like irritability, high-pitched crying, tremors, seizures, poor feeding, diarrhea and vomiting.  Many cases go unreported and it may not be clear why these babies are suffering or they may be misdiagnosed to have other causes of irritability etc. The fluctuating drug levels can cause constriction of blood flow to the baby and result in spontaneous abortion (miscarriage), pre-term birth, or small for gestational-age babies.

Addiction to opioids such as prescription painkillers like oxycodone, hydrocodone, tramadol or heroin—is a challenging and complicated condition that can be treated effectively with medication-combined with counseling and support. If you are pregnant & if pain meds or heroin are ruining your life or affecting your family or threatening your job or business—get help getting off of them! CALL 770-680-2197 or visit: Do it for your baby!


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