It’s believed that a baby addicted to opioids is born roughly every 19 minutes in the United States. In other words, 70 newborn babies are born addicted to opioids every day.
Babies become addicted to opioids when their mothers have used the drugs during pregnancy. They become addicted in the womb. When they are born, the supply of opioids abruptly cuts off, causing drug withdrawal.
Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Is on the Rise
The withdrawal can cause the babies to develop a condition known as Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS). In the period right after birth, the babies can experience fever, vomiting, sweating, loss of appetite, tremors, mottled skin, dehydration, diarrhea, and convulsions. They may also cry continually and have marked difficulty in sleeping.
Long-Term Effects Can Affect Growth and Behavior
Sadly, NAS symptoms can be very long-lasting. While research is still being done to understand the longer-term effects of opioid addiction as the children born with it grow older, it does appear to exert impacts that can be detrimental to both physical development and behavior later on.
Children born addicted to opioids can experience delays in developmental growth and behavioral problems. They may also develop attention-deficit disorder (ADD) at a higher rate than children in the general population.
The children may need years of behavioral and other therapy as a result.
A Growing Epidemic
The long-term effects are a tremendous concern because opioid addiction has risen so fast across the U.S. Over the last two decades, prescriptions for opioids quadrupled. Addiction to opioids has become an epidemic.
Many observers believe that the epidemic was fueled by drug manufacturers, who for years said that the risk of patients developing a physical dependence on opioids, initially prescribed for pain, was minimal.
In fact, claims were recently brought in Louisiana courts against some of these manufacturers. Plaintiffs allege that Johnson & Johnson, its subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Teva Pharmaceuticals, and Purdue Pharma intentionally misled consumers about the real risks of developing an addiction to opioids and told doctors that long-term use of the drugs were safe.
Does Your Child Suffer from Opioid Addiction?
Unfortunately, many Louisiana residents suffer from opioid addiction. If your child suffers from the effects of opioid addiction, call Bart Bernard today.
Bart Bernard will treat your case with the care and concern it deserves. Our law firm has the knowhow and resources to take on the big pharmaceutical companies.
Our first consultation regarding your case is complimentary. You can call whichever of our two Louisiana offices are most convenient for you: 337-989-BART (Lafayette) or 225-275-BART (Baton Rouge). You can also contact Bart online today.
- Adamson, Allan. “Lawsuit Seeks Money To Cover Treatment Of Babies Born Addicted To Opioids.” Tech Times. February 28, 2017. http://www.techtimes.com/articles/222035/20180228/lawsuit-seeks-money-to-cover-treatment-of-babies-born-addicted-to-opioids.htm
- Clark, Maria. “The family of a Louisiana infant born addicted to opioids is suing drug makers.” New Orleans Times-Picayune. February 27, 2018. http://www.nola.com/health/index.ssf/2018/02/lawsuit_filed_to_help_cover_he.html