US Sees Sharp Rise in Newborns with Opiate Withdrawal

Staff Writer | BBC News | April 30, 2012

The number of babies born in the US showing symptoms of opiate withdrawal increased threefold in the 10 years up to 2009, a medical study has found.

The research, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, said one in every 1,000 newborns was affected in 2009. The number of pregnant women testing positive for illegal or legal opiates increased fivefold in the same period.

The report says abuse of prescription painkillers is partly to blame. The study, the first of its kind in the US, was based on records from more than 4,000 hospitals across the country...