Back when prescription opioids first hit the market back in the 1990’s, we had little knowledge of their addictiveness or their effect on children. By now, however, we know all too well about the terrible side effects these drugs can have on the development of children.
Children are truly some of the most vulnerable victims of this epidemic. If a mother takes opioids while pregnant, her child can become addicted in the womb. It can go through painful withdrawal, Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS), which can lead to devastating, lifelong medical complications.
The crisis is nowhere near over — there are thousands of NAS cases in Tennessee alone — but recent reports show that we’ve taken significant strides.
Tennessee became one of the first states to start weekly monitoring of NAS cases back in 2013. And now, after a five-year stretch of increasing NAS cases, the number of drug-dependent infants in our state is finally down, as Nashville Public Radio reports. In the first six months of 2018, there have been 125 fewer NAS cases than there were in the first half of last year.
Several factors may have contributed to the decline, as Nashville Public Radio mentions. New statewide prescribing regulations went into effect this month. There are now very strict rules — the most stringent in the country — for doctors prescribing more than three days’ worth of painkillers. For instance, surgery patients have a limit of 20 days, and doctors must try non-opioid therapies before prescribing them. In addition, there are several Nashville-based startups that focus on NAS prevention.
Speak to Opioid NAS Lawyers Today
The decrease in NAS cases in our state gives me tremendous hope, but this crisis continues to take a toll on our most vulnerable every day. Infants with NAS may have lifelong medical struggles that require costly care.
If you believe you suffered from NAS or know anyone who has, call (901) 327-1212 or contact our opioid NAS lawyers here for a free consultation.