The number of Ohio babies who come into the world sick and craving drugs continues to soar.

 New state reports show that the rate of neonatal abstinence syndrome — the medical term for withdrawal symptoms suffered by newborns — jumped to 159 per 10,000 live births in 2015.

That’s more than eight times the rate a decade earlier, in 2005, when there were just 19 such hospitalizations for every 10,000 live births.

“Given the way that the other numbers in the state are going, unfortunately, they were what I expected. I expected the NAS rate to go up,” said Rick Massatti of the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.

Ohio is awash in drug abuse and addiction, at times leading the nation in deaths from heroin and synthetic-opioid overdoses. And women who become pregnant while using drugs can double the harm if they don’t get help quickly.

But awareness and availability of treatment continue to lag.

“As a community, we are failing these moms by not having adequate treatment slots,” said Dr. Barry Halpern, an OhioHealth neonatologist who has helped lead local efforts to care for pregnant drug users and their infants.

– Rita Price
The Columbus Dispatch

Follow Prescription Advisory

Doctors (and other clinicians) need to know what prescriptions have been given to their patients by other practitioners. This information should be included in the patients’ electronic health care records accessible through a Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) that provides immediate information.

Presentation by the Dir., Div. of Epidemiology  NIH, National Institute on Drug Abuse, May 2013

A study was conducted to estimate the societal costs of prescription opioid abuse, dependence, and misuse in the United States. Costs were grouped into three categories: health care, workplace, and criminal justice.

The results: Total US societal costs of prescription opioid abuse were estimated at $55.7 billion in 2007 (USD in 2009). Workplace costs accounted for $25.6 billion, health care costs accounted for $25.0 billion, and criminal justice costs accounted for $5.1 billion. Workplace costs were driven by lost earnings from premature death ($11.2 billion) and reduced compensation/lost employment ($7.9 billion).

Conclusions: The costs of prescription opioid abuse represent a substantial and growing economic burden for the society. The increasing prevalence of abuse suggests an even greater societal burden in the future.

Pain Medicine, Volume 12, Issue 4, April 2011
Prescription Advisory Systems & Technology

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