As more babies are born to mothers who are addicted to prescription painkillers, the costs related to diagnosis and treatment of these infants are rising, according to a new report.
The study looked at newborns born at a Florida hospital over three years. The researchers found about 50 to 60 percent of babies born to mothers addicted to painkillers developed symptoms and complications related to withdrawal from opioid pain medication, known as neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS).
In the first year of the study, 40 babies were born exposed to painkillers. That number rose to 57 in the second year and 63 in the third year, HealthDay reports. Babies who developed NAS stayed in the hospital an average of 23 days, compared with five days for painkiller-exposed babies who did not develop NAS.