“Around the United States, communities have been struggling to craft policies to deal with what has become one of the most pressing issues facing society – the misuse of painkillers, which in turn leads some people to start taking heroin.
While the effect of the crisis on adults is daunting enough – heroin-related overdoses have nearly quadrupled in the past decade – it becomes particularly heart-rending when it reaches into the nation’s hospital nurseries. In 2012, experts estimated that about one baby was born every 25 minutes in the US with what is known as neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) – symptoms stemming from a mother’s opiate use. That amounted to about 22,000 infants a year, more than five times what it was in 2000.
But rather than be overwhelmed by the problem, the staff at Dartmouth-Hitchcock embraced a new way of thinking about how to treat the babies – enlisting their caregivers as central partners. They’ve had stunning results, and now they’re being looked to as a model.”
Source: Christian Science Monitor – March 13, 2016