It is sad but true. Many U.S. newborns suffer from painkiller addiction. Many babies are born to mothers who took too many painkillers, and they suffer withdrawal symptoms when they no longer get the drugs. In fact, some of them have to take methadone.
Increasingly, pregnant women in the U.S. are using Vicodin, OxyContin, and even illegal drugs like heroin during their pregnancies. That results in newborns suffering painkiller addiction through absolutely no fault of their own. Over about a decade the number of babies born addicted to powerful narcotics grew from 1 in 1,000 to 3 in 1,000. In 2009, 13,000 babies born in the U.S. suffered from withdrawal. That is a large increase, and it is concerning for obvious reasons.
Unfortunately, these babies can suffer for weeks or months, and they have to stay in NICU while they go through withdrawal. If the babies are weaned off the drugs too quickly, it could result in seizures or death, which makes the situation scary for health professionals and family members. Obviously the mothers feel terrible seeing their babies suffer because of their bad choices.
Have you had a painkiller addiction? If so, did it affect your baby? What did you do to try to get off the drugs?