The opioid crisis has accelerated so quickly that medical science hasn’t yet developed a clear protocol for treating babies born to mothers who are addicted to opioids (or who use opioid treatments such as methadone).
These babies often experience withdrawal syndromes after birth, which can last months. By one estimate, a baby is born with the syndrome every 25 minutes in the U.S.
A recent $1 million grant from the National Institutes of Health will fund a large-scale study of treatments and outcomes, which is expected to start by the end of this year.
In the meantime, though, different hospitals use different approaches. Some use morphine drops, some use methadone, and some use sedatives. At least one is testing acupuncture. Some babies are sent immediately to a neonatal intensive care unit, while in other hospitals an effort is made to keep the baby with the mother.
Source: Time. Click here for more information.