Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome

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Over the past few years, there has been a significant increase in maternal opioid use. Opioid use during one’s pregnancy can result in Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS). Data drawn from 28 states in America show that the overall NAS incidences in those states has increased 300% from 1999–2013 (CDC). Babies born with this syndrome are at a high risk of being born too small and underweight (MOD). The baby’s overall health is drastically affected when a woman chooses to use drugs while knowingly pregnant. The federal government should address the growing epidemic of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome by increasing the funding for social awareness and treatment, by creating a specific program for women who are addicted to opioids before becoming…show more content…
Research studies on current addiction treatment show that programs are typically are divided into several general types. Addiction is viewed in the context of an individual’s social and psychological deficits, and treatment focuses on developing personal accountability and responsibility as well as socially productive lives (Drug). While the methods for treatment and individual programs continue to evolve and diversify, there should be more rules and regulations when it comes to treatment. As of right now, long-term residential treatment provides care 24 hours a day, generally in non-hospital settings. Treatment is designed to help residents examine damaging beliefs, self concepts, and destructive patterns of behavior and adopt new, more harmonious and constructive ways to interact with others (Drug). This type of treatment is a step in the right direction in solving the problem, but there is so much more that could be done. Along with developing even more personalized methods for treatment, there should be a set time that a patient must remain under treatment and periodic follow-up check-ins once a person is released as “relapse is common in addiction treatment, with relapse rates being between 40 and 60 percent,”…show more content…
Supply reduction is an essential component when it comes to eliminating Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome. “Since 2004, one out of every 10 dollars expended on health care in the United States has been for prescription drugs” (CommonWealthfund). One thing the government could do is make healthcare systems identify, track, and prevent inappropriate patterns of prescribing and use of prescription drugs and integrate prescription drug monitoring into the electronic health record system (Surgeon). “Evidence suggests that in the United States, states with the highest rates of prescription opioid use also have the highest rates of the neonatal abstinence syndrome. Therefore, targeted initiatives to address prescribing practices may help to reduce opioid use in women of childbearing age and prevent the subsequent development of the neonatal abstinence syndrome. Efforts are underway to address the overprescribing of opioids, such as the introduction of programs to monitor opioid-drug prescribing practices, regulation of pain-management clinics, and establishment of opioid dosage thresholds”(NEJM). There should also be evidence-based guidelines when it comes to prescribing opioids in emergency departments, including restrictions on the use of long-acting or extended-release opioids for acute pain. And in a case where it deems the use of the

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