The Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council (PHC4) released a new research brief showing that the rate of newborns suffering from drug withdrawal increased more than 1,000% between FYs 2000-2001 and FYs 2016-2017. Referred to as Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (or NAS), this array of problems develops shortly after birth in newborns who were exposed to addictive drugs, most often opioids, while in the mother’s womb. Withdrawal signs develop because these newborns are no longer exposed to the drug for which they have become physically dependent. Specifically, PHC4’s research found that the rate of hospital stays for newborns with NAS increased 1,096%—from 1.2 per 1,000 newborn hospitalizations to 15.0.
- Hospitalizations for Newborns with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome. Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council. March 2018 (PDF)