Fetuses Need Online Drug Class?

by Mike Miller December 5, 2011

Add fetuses to the growing list of those addicted to prescription medication. No, that is not a typo, and really the only surprise is that obviously fetuses cannot access the Internet – yet!

Medical authorities are witnessing explosive growth in the number of newborn babies hooked on prescription painkillers, innocent victims of their mothers' addictions.

Examples:

  • Maine Medical Center in Portland treated 121 babies dependent on prescription painkillers in 2010, up from 18 in 2001.
  • East Tennessee Children's Hospital in Knoxville adopted a program to treat drug-exposed babies a year ago. Of the 579 babies admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit since then, 106 needed treatment for withdrawal from oxycodone and other painkillers — up from fewer than 40 in 2008. In September, painkiller-addicted babies filled nearly half the neonatal intensive care unit's 60 beds, the highest number ever. "It has just exploded," says John Buchheit, director of neonatology at East Tennessee Children's Hospital. "Narcotic use is just rampant in our society, and our area is particularly bad. The babies are caught in the middle."
  • At St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa, 40 babies born in the first nine months of this year needed special care because of painkiller exposure — a 33% increase over all of 2010, says Ken Solomon, director of neonatology at three hospitals in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area.

It has to be absolutely heartbreaking for anyone witnessing the birth of a child addicted to these drugs. The infants writhe in pain as they withdraw from the drugs. Unfortunately the problem is getting worse by the day. Mothers have to be unselfish with a child in the womb and must stop taking these medications while they are pregnant and breast feeding. 

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