Clinical educator at MVH says they've never seen this magnitude of opioid-addicted babies

CDC: Number of women giving birth while addicted to opioids quadruples over past 15 years (WKEF/WRGT)

DAYTON, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - A new study by CDC revealed a disturbing trend. The study found that over the last 15 years, the number of women giving birth in the US while addicted to opioids, quadrupled.

“No one grows up and thinks I want to be a drug addict. Things happen in life,” Clinical Educator at Miami Valley Hospital Ellen Jordan said.

She has worked the neonatal intensive care unit at Miami Valley Hospital for years now, and has cared for many opioid dependent babies.

”Every case is different. If they come to the NICU it's probably because they need medication for treatment,” said Jordan.

Doctors said they use morphine to wean babies off the drugs.

Jordan added, “We have seen some opioid-addicted babies, but never to this magnitude.”

The CDC statistic didn’t surprise Jordan, especially with how common opioid addiction is here in the Dayton area.

“As far as an increase in a number of years, we can definitely see it," said Jordan. “Especially in the last 2 to 3 years, a definite increase in a number of those babies.”

Although she said the overall admission of NAS babies is increasing yearly, 2018 has seen a decline. This year from January through July, only 70 NAS babies have been admitted for treatment.

“I feel like we have seen a lot of good progress in our areas," said Jordan. “And over the last several months we have seen a decrease.”

Regardless what the rest of the year may serve the NICU team, they're remaining optimistic.

“I don’t think we feel fearful, I think we feel hopeful,” added Jordan.

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