Earlier this week, Senator Casey visited Pocono Medical Center’s NICU to address concerns surrounding drug dependent newborns, and what more the state can being doing in terms of prevention and treatment.
Approximately 35 out of the average 1,000 born at PMC are admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and are going through withdrawal from opioid-based drugs.
Dr. J. Delfor Salazar, director of neonatology, said in a recent news article, “They want to sleep but they cannot sleep. They are hungry but they cannot eat. Imagine yourself wanting to eat but you cannot eat. Imagine wanting to sleep but you cannot sleep.”
Tackling the issue of drug dependent newborns is yet another topic under the large umbrella of our current drug epidemic. It is one of grave importance and Senator Casey and other politicians agree.
From 2010-2014, the number of infants born in Pennsylvania with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), increased by 900 annually. This number is just one of the many reasons the senator has backed the Protecting Our Infants Act.
The bill requires the Department of Health to “review its activities related to prenatal opioid use, including neonatal abstinence syndrome, and develop a strategy to address gaps in research and gaps and overlap in programs.”
The senator’s main objective during his visit, was to really understand what goes into treating drug dependent babies and what more can be done to reduce the number.
Gary Tennis, DDAP secretary, said drug dependent infants deserve to “get a healthy start in life,” and furthermore, deserve to have a mother in recovery.
This is an issue that needs to be addressed on both fronts. Not only do infants born with NAS need to be cared for, but mothers need education and treatment. If they want to stop the perpetual cycle from spinning, they must first treat their disease, and in turn, can then learn how to care for and raise a child.
Without proper drug and alcohol treatment, a mother’s chance of returning to active use is extremely high.
If you are struggling with chemical dependency or alcoholism, Clearbrook can help. Furthermore, if you are an expecting mother and need help, we can assist you as well.
We have found a better way to live, and we can show you that it is possible for you too.
Contact our Admission Specialists today and get the process started.