The opioid crisis has already claimed so many lives throughout the country, and this epidemic is far from over.

Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) is a group of problems that a newborn baby experiences when withdrawing from narcotics its mother used during pregnancy. As an NAS Lawyer Memphis TN trusts, I’ve seen so many heartbreaking cases. Experts have already known that NAS can mean lifelong struggles and medical care for a child, but less has been known about the precise ways the condition impacts a child. However, a groundbreaking new study found that a mother’s prenatal opioid use may stunt a child’s learning.This was the first major U.S. study examining the the potential long-term effects of NAS.

In the study, researchers analyzed Tennessee Medicaid data and special education data from the Tennessee Department of Education to compare the academic performances of children with and without a history of NAS. It looked at about 7,200 children between 3 to 8 who are enrolled in Tennessee’s Medicaid program.

The study found that roughly 1 in 7 children with NAS required special classroom services for learning disabilities including developmental delays and speech or language difficulties. In contrast, 1 in 10 children not exposed to opioids before birth required the same services.

It is easy to dismiss NAS as a short-term problem, but this study is a powerful and very important reminder of the consequences of opioid use during pregnancy. Dr. Matthew Davis, the co-chair of the Opioid Task Force at Lurie Children’s Hospital, told the Chicago Tribune, “We need to be very aware of additional long-term challenges those with neonatal abstinence syndrome face in early childhood that affect not only their health but their education.”

As study co-author Dr. William Schaffner of Vanderbilt University told the Chicago Tribune, it is understandable that using drugs like opiates during pregnancy would affect a child’s development later in life. Other studies have found brain differences in affected children.

It is absolutely heartbreaking to know that our children are unjustifiably suffering. But, as Davis also told the Tribune, we all have the power to do something, “I hope the study is a wake-up call,” he said,” so people understand that this epidemic is a community-level, multigenerational problem that will only grow if we don’t take the proper steps to address it.”

There is hope. Talk to an NAS Lawyer Memphis TN can trust.

If you believe your adopted child was exposed to opioids during pregnancy or breastfeeding, or that you suffered from NAS as in infant, we want to speak with you. Darrell Castle & Associates, PLLC is a law firm Memphis has trusted for over thirty years. We will fight for your rights and make every effort to get you the care and compensation you deserve with the help of an opioid NAS Lawyer Memphis TN can rely on.

Contact us online today or call 901-327-1212 to speak in person with lawyers who can get you the justice you deserve.