“Among the troubling developments of the nation’s opioid crisis: a large number of babies born prenatally exposed to opioids.
On a recent reporting trip, we visited Trinity Hospital in Steubenville, Ohio, where according to the acting CEO, 1 in 5 babies are born with prenatal opioid exposure. Other hospitals report as many as 1 in 8 newborns exposed to opioids in the womb.
It led us to wonder what long-term consequences there might be for the babies, some of whom experience neonatal abstinence syndrome at birth.
Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, a pediatrician and professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, has written about the topic. He says while there’s no evidence of “huge, obvious differences” in children who were exposed to opioids in the womb, there is a lot of research showing that the social environment plays a critical role in determining a child’s future.”
Source: NPR.org – June 30, 2017