Sacramento Update

#AmericansLoveDrugs: More drug-addicted babies in California

There’s no question about it, Americans love drugs.

In California, the number of babies born affected by drugs has nearly doubled over seven years to more than 3,630 in 2015, according to state public health officials.

That rise is directly tied to the stubborn opioid epidemic of prescription painkillers and illegal street drugs such as heroin that have hooked increasing numbers of women, both in California and nationwide.

“It’s not the mom you expect anymore. It’s not just the mom who came in off the street,” said Dr. Kristin Hoffman, a neonatologist with the UC Davis Children’s Hospital. “We see moms in all socioeconomic classes,” such as those taking opiates like Oxycontin for chronic back pain or other ailments.

Weaning their babies off drugs can take weeks. Known as neonatal abstinence syndrome, the symptoms vary from a high-pitched cry to muscles so tight some babies can be as stiff as a board. They are often jittery, sweaty, easily agitated and unable to soothe themselves. They often have trouble sucking from a bottle or nipple, which means they struggle to gain weight. Many are troubled by diarrhea or spitting up.

Source: The Sacramento Bee

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Categories: Sacramento Update

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