Some babies born to mothers who used opioids while pregnant may experience neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). Populations of women who give birth to infants with NAS include women who use heroin, women who use or misuse prescription opioids (e.g. painkillers), or women undergoing Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) for opioid dependence. The resources below offer additional information on serving infants experiencing NAS and their families.
Increasing Incidence and Geographic Distribution of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome: U.S. 2009 to 2012
Patrick, Davis, Lehman, & Cooper (2015)
Journal of Perinatology, 35(8)
Discusses neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), a postnatal opioid withdrawal syndrome, increased threefold from 2000 to 2009. Since 2009, opioid pain reliever prescriptions and complications increased markedly throughout the United States. This article investigates recent changes in NAS and its geographic variability to inform State and local governments in targeting public health responses.
Increasing Incidence of the Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome in U.S. Neonatal ICUs
Tolia, Patrick, Bennett, Murthy, Sousa, Smith, Clark, & Spitzer, A. (2015)
The New England Journal of Medicine, 372(22)
Analyzes data from infants with the neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) from 2004 through 2013 in 299 neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) across the United States. Findings show that NAS was responsible for a substantial and growing portion of resources dedicated to critically ill neonates in NICUs nationwide.
Inpatient Pathway for the Evaluation/Treatment of Infants With Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome
Children's Hospital, Philadelphia (2016)
Presents information on the inpatient pathway for the evaluation treatment of infants with neonatal abstinence syndrome, including treatment options and resources.
NCSACW Webinar Series on Opioid Use Disorders and Treatment
National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare (2016)
Offers a webinar series that discusses the treatment of opioid dependence in pregnancy and of infants prenatally exposed to opioids including innovative strategies in working families.
Prenatal Substance Abuse, Short and Long-Term Effects on the Exposed Fetus (PDF - 784 KB)
Behnke & Smith (2013)
American Academy of Pediatrics, 131 (3)
Presents information for the most common drugs involved in prenatal exposure: nicotine, alcohol, marijuana, opiates, cocaine, and methamphetamine. The article also highlights the primary care pediatrician’s role in addressing prenatal substance exposure, including prevention, identification of exposure, recognition of medical issues for the exposed newborn infants, protection of the infant, and follow-up of the exposed infant.
Stronger Together: NAS Soothing Techniques for Mommies and Babies [Video]
Texas State Department of Health Services (2014)
Showcases professionals and mothers demonstrating techniques to help soothe withdrawal symptoms and the important role that birth mothers play in their child’s recovery.
Substance Use in Pregnancy, The OB/GYN Perspective (PDF - 1,450 KB)
National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare (2015)
Discusses prenatal care and substance use during pregnancy, and includes information regarding screening for substance use, brief interventions, treatment processes and timelines, as well as the integration of Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) and case examples.
Variation in Treatment of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome in U.S. Children’s Hospitals, 2004–2011
Patrick, Kaplan, Passarella, Davis, & Lorch (2014)
Journal of Perinatology, 34(11)
Explains the implications for lack of treatment for NAS and presents surveys results that suggest wide variation in pharmacotherapy for NAS. The objective of this study was to determine whether different pharmacotherapies for NAS are associated with differences in outcomes and to determine whether pharmacotherapy and outcome vary by hospital.