Ohio is experiencing a Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Epidemic. NAS is a complex disorder that occurs when newborns are exposed to certain addictive opiate or narcotic drugs. Conditions associated with NAS include low birth weight, respiratory complications, and feeding difficulties which may contribute to infant deaths in some cases. According to the Ohio Hospital Association, the rate of NAS in the state of Ohio increased 800 percent from 2004 to 2013. In response, Governor John R. Kasich signed a bill designating the first week of July as Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Awareness Week.
The first week of July is designated as "Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Awareness Week" to increase public awareness of neonatal abstinence syndrome as a health concern.
(Ohio Revised Code. GENERAL PROVISIONS. Chapter 5: STATE INSIGNIA; SEALS; HOLIDAYS. 5.25 Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Awareness Week.)
Added by 130th General Assembly File No. TBD, HB 465, §1, eff. 3/5/2015.
If the mother continues to use the drugs within the week or so before delivery, the baby will be dependent on the drug at birth. Because the baby is no longer getting the drug after birth, withdrawal symptoms may occur as the drug is slowly cleared from the baby’s system.
Withdrawal symptoms also may occur in babies exposed to alcohol, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and certain antidepressants (SSRIs) while in the womb.
Babies of mothers who use other addictive drugs (nicotine, amphetamines, cocaine, marijuana,) may have long-term problems. While there is no clear evidence of a neonatal abstinence syndrome for other drugs, they may contribute to the severity of a baby’s NAS symptoms.
Source: ohio.gov | nih.gov