The truly awful effects of the opioid epidemic have ravaged the lives of Tennesseans. However, the voices of the opioid epidemic’s smallest victims, babies born addicted to opioids, are finally being heard. Last year, the Tennessee Supreme Court ruled that opioid manufacturers can be sued under the state’s Drug Dealer Liability Act. As a baby opioid addiction lawyer, I can tell you this is big news. Most notably, it means children who have been diagnosed with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS), are able to pursue the compensation they rightfully deserve from the Big Pharma companies who helped create this crisis.
What is Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS)?
More than 70 newborns a day are born addicted to opioids due to their parents’ use. Many of these children are born with a type of postnatal drug withdrawal caused from opioid drug exposure while in the womb. This severe type of withdrawal is known as Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, or NAS.
NAS is a truly unfortunate way to begin life. Little is more unsettling than watching a newborn baby struggle with its withdrawal symptoms.
Does my child have NAS?
Early symptoms of NAS:
- Refusing to feed
- Crying excessively
- Slow weight gain
- Shaking or trembling
- Blotchy skin
- Arching of the child’s back
- And more
Unfortunately, the effects of NAS don’t go away after withdrawal is complete. The long-term symptoms of NAS can last much longer into childhood, and in some cases, last a lifetime.
Long-term effects of NAS can include:
- Language delays
- Birth defects
- Respiratory complications
- Impaired motor skills
- Risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome)
- Behavioral and development problems
- Hearing disabilities
- Chronic stress
- Psychiatric illness
Using data from TennCare, researchers paired information on 7,000 babies born with NAS with their later education records. They found that about one in seven children born with NAS required special classroom services for developmental delays and difficulty with language. This highlights an unfortunate truth: that the effects of NAS can last a lifetime.
The rate of infants born with NAS has quadrupled.
Unfortunately, the occurrence of NAS is not getting better. In fact, the rate of infants born with NAS has quadrupled in the last fifteen years. Alarmingly, the number of children born with NAS is higher in Tennessee than in other parts of the country.
But the blame does not fall on the mothers of these infants. You see, certain opioid manufacturers advertised their products as safe when they first hit the public market. Because of this, doctors highly prescribed opioids like OxyContin, Percocet, Vicodin, fentanyl, codeine, and methadone. But these drugs turned out to be highly-addictive, and this false advertising created a boom in the addiction crisis. Thankfully, now we know better. But more and more evidence is surfacing that these drug companies knew their products were harmful, yet chose to sell them anyway to make a profit. Because of greed, countless innocent babies and children are suffering in Tennessee and all across the nation.
We’re here for you. Speak to a baby opioid addiction lawyer for FREE.
At Darrell Castle & Associates, it is our mission to help the children and families suffering from these terrible drug injuries. If your child was born with NAS, we are here to offer judgement-free help. Contact us online or call 901-327-2100 for a FREE consultation. When you call, one of our experienced and compassionate NAS lawyers will answer any questions you have, and come up with a plan to help you get the compensation you deserve.
In truth, we believe the opioid manufacturers who misrepresented the safety and addictiveness of the drugs they sold are to blame, not you. Contact us today to hear how we can help.