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Tons Of Babies Are Being Born With Opioid Withdrawal

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Eric Lieberman Deputy Editor
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The rate of babies being born with opioid withdrawal symptoms in America has sharply risen over the past decade, especially for infants in rural areas.

Out of every 1,000 babies born in rural America in 2013, approximately 7.5 were born with neonatal abstinence syndrome, the official medical term for a newborn exposed to addictive opiate drugs in the womb.

This is up from roughly 1.2 for every 1,000 newborns in 2004, according to a report published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). (RELATED: Laced Opioids Are Confusing Coroners And Health Experts)

The rate for urban area infants increased from 1.4 out of 1,000 to 4.8 out of 1,000 in the same time span.

In correlation with the pattern, the number of hospital delivery procedures complicated by maternal opioid use went up from 1.3 per 1,000 to 8.1 per 1,000 for rural areas of country.

“This geographic disparity highlights the urgent need for policymakers to appropriate funding for clinicians and programs that could improve access to opioid prevention and treatment services for rural women and children,” the study reads. The report was conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan, University of Minnesota, Northwestern University, Vanderbilt University and Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago.

But the increase for both sectors of society shows an overarching upward trend of opioid use (and abuse) across the country. (RELATED: 100 Million Opioids Prescribed For Tooth Removal Go Unused Every Year)

America only makes up around 5 percent of the world’s population, but according to a report, consumes 80 percent of the global opioid supply.

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