Calling it a “crisis” for newborns, lawmakers are calling for help protecting babies from prescription painkillers.
According to research in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the number of babies born addicted to dangerous painkillers is on the rise.
One New York hospital has seen a 500-percent increase in the past two years.
Babies born addicted, suffer withdrawal symptoms like tremors, irritability, vomiting and diarrhea and also can face birth defects and long-term learning impairments.
Senator Charles Schumer from New York is pushing a plan to help put an end to the rising numbers.
“According to the research in the JAMA study, the number of babies born addicted to prescription drugs, specifically opioids such as oxycodone, has tripled in the last decade. Of every thousand infants born in 2009, about 3-point-4 were addicted to painkillers. That means one infant per hour is born addicted to drugs like these” said Schumer at a news conference Sunday.
The Senator said, “the bottom line is all you need to do is see one born baby suffering from what amounts to drug withdrawal to understand how heartbreaking and tragic this issue really is.”
Schumer is pushing for better labeling for painkillers and more education to help doctors spot pregnant mothers at risk.