According to a new report, drug exposure has been detected in hundreds of babies in recent years. In the report, issued by the Office of Child Advocate there appears to be one program that is working to deal with the issue. However, until there are no babies exposed to drugs, improvement in the way this issue is handled can always use improvements.

So far in 2019, there were several babies who needed extra care due to exposure to a wide range of substances including opioids, marijuana, cocaine, alcohol, and tobacco. Experts agree that specialized prenatal care is necessary to help a pregnant mother addicted to drugs, but ultimately it is the responsibility of the pregnant mother to do what is in the best interest of her baby.

Signs Of Drug Exposure In Babies

According to Stanford Children’s Health, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, the symptoms babies suffer through as they withdrawal from drugs is known as Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS). NAS symptoms differ based on the substance that was used and when it was last used, as well as when the baby was born. Premature babies differ in how they react to withdrawals versus full-term babies. 

Every baby experience symptoms differently, but these are the most common signs a baby has NAS:

  • Trembling/tremors
  • Crying uncontrollably 
  • Sleep issues
  • High-pitched crying
  • Tight muscle tone
  • Hyperactive reflexes
  • Seizures
  • Stuffy nose, yawning, sneezing 
  • Poor feeding, latching, and suck
  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Sweating 
  • Fever, unstable temperature

Why Don’t Drug-Addicted Mothers Seek Prenatal Care?

Increase In Drug-Exposed BabiesOne of the most common concerns for these women is that they fear a representative from the Division for Children, Youth & Families (DCYF) will take their child. However, this is not the case. According to the report, some cities have developed a DCYF program that provides resources and services to a family who is struggling with addiction. Caseworkers act in a capacity as a specialist providing support for drug-addicted babies. 

Many think this program is beneficial and can help the problem. These advocates want the program to be initiated state-wide. They believe the best way to combat the public health issue is to ensure mothers have the treatment they need, while their babies also get the care they need. Combined with home visits, this program can offer a feasible plan for drug-addicted families. Access to both pre and postnatal care is critically important to at-risk infants. Without it, these babies are at high risk for additional physical and psychological issues arising in the future.

Are You A New Mother Who Has An Addiction Problem?

You want to be the best mother you can be but you are struggling with addiction. You need help, and you should know that you aren’t alone. There are help and hope for you.

The medical detox and addiction alternative treatment center at Discovery Place can help you safely detox and recover from your addiction so you can take care of your baby, safely. Discovery Place’s Tennessee addiction alternative treatment center’s programs have the guidance and tools you need to be successful. You can call our Tennessee detox alternative treatment center any time to talk with one of our caring staff members at 1-800-725-0922.


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