Alarming number of prescription drug-addicted infants

Jun 12, 2012

It is an alarming trend in Western New York and across the country: babies born addicted to prescription pain killers. 

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer visited Buffalo's Sisters of Charity Hospital Monday, telling reporters
and hospital staff the nation must act now to reduce the alarming number of prescription drug-addicted infants. 

"Western New York is facing a serious problem with the growing trend of what is known as NAS,  Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome," said Senator Schumer. 

Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome was virtually unheard of in America's medical community a decade ago.  Now, we're looking at an epidemic of these cases here and elsewhere:

The democrat from Brooklyn pointed to a study done by the Journal of the American Medical Association that illustrates the seriousness of this disturbing trend.

"According to that research, the number of beautiful little babies born addicted to prescription drugs, specifically opioids such as oxycodone,  has nearly tripled in the last decade.  Of a thousand infants born in 2009, 3.4 per were addicted to painkillers.  That's a horrible statistic," said Senator Schumer.  

Schumer said he has a three-point plan to address and remedy the problem, including calling on the FDA to provide clear labels so that women and doctors know the potential dangers of the medication they are taking. 

Doctors and nurses at Sisters have seen first-hand what a mother's prescription drug addiction does to her fetus and newborn.   

"All you need to do is see a new born baby suffering through what amounts to drug withdrawal to understand how heartbreaking and tragic the issue is," said Schumer. 

With the uncontrolled shaking, the non-stop crying and the constant diarrhea, put bluntly, according to a study done by the Journal of the American Medical Association, it's estimated that one baby per-hour us born addicted to hydrocodone and other prescription painkillers.    he Brooklyn democrat
has unveiled a 3-point strategy to reduce that alarming number.