What happens when babies are born addicted to drugs?
Once the supply of drugs (delivered through the mother’s umbilical cord) goes away, babies can experience painful withdrawal symptoms and other health problems. In newborns, this type of withdrawal is called neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). NAS can be caused by exposure to many different drugs.
What is the treatment for neonatal abstinence syndrome?
Some babies may need medications to treat severe withdrawal symptoms, especially for seizures. Specific drugs for treating withdrawal are: methadone for heroin and other opiate withdrawal. benzodiazepines (for alcohol withdrawal)
What drugs cause neonatal abstinence syndrome?
Opiates, such as heroin and methadone, cause withdrawal in about half of babies exposed prenatally. Cocaine may cause some withdrawal, but the main symptoms in your baby are due to the toxic effects of the drug itself. Other drugs, such as amphetamines, barbiturates and narcotics can also cause withdrawal.
How do you know if a baby is born addicted to drugs?
Signs of newborn drug withdrawal depend on the drug and include blotchy skin, diarrhea, fussiness, fever, vomiting, tremors, and slow development. Substances that can cause newborn drug withdrawal include illegal drugs like cocaine, heroin, and marijuana, as well as a number of prescription medications.
How long do NAS babies stay in hospital?
The NAS signs and symptoms will lessen during your baby’s hospital stay. Your baby will stay in the hospital 24 – 48 hours after the last dose of medication is given, for observation. Many babies who need medication for NAS, stay in the hospital up to 3-4 weeks, and sometimes may stay longer.
What is a good NAS score?
The individual NAS symptoms are weighted (numerically scoring 1–5) depending on the symptom, and the severity of the symptom expressed. Infants scoring an 8 or greater are recommended to receive pharmacologic therapy. The most comprehensive of scales, it is found to be too complex by many nurseries for routine use 18.
How long does a baby go through withdrawal?
Your baby’s withdrawal symptoms may continue for longer than a week and possibly up to 6 months, but over time they will gradually decrease. Once at home, your baby may continue to experience: difficulty with attachment during breastfeeding.
How long does neonatal withdrawal last?
NAS can last from one week to a few months. It is difficult to know how long it will last. The length of the withdrawal symptoms depends on what medicines or drugs the baby was exposed to. It also depends on how much of these the baby got while you were pregnant.
What happens if a newborn tests positive for drugs?
Exposure to maternal drug use during gestation may adversely affect neonatal development and may lead to acute adverse events, including neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) and infant mortality. Prenatal drug exposure may also contribute to long-term behavioral effects and developmental deficits.