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Opioid Use & Pregnancy : The Positive Direction Model

The National Survey on Drug use and health statistics in their 2014 research stated that an estimated 225,000 infants are exposed to illicit substances each year and the numbers are increasing. Approximately 60% - 94% of neonates exposed to opioids during pregnancy will exhibits symptoms of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome withdrawal. Infants with NAS increased to every 25 minutes an infant is born with NAS. In 2014 the annual health care cost for caring for NAS infants was 1.5 billion and was part of the hospital stay for infants in the NICU from 16 or more days. The cost for infants staying in the hospital past the average stay is approximately $66,700 as opposed to the cost for an infant born without NAS is $3000.00. These statistics are alarming and has caused an epidemic nationally and is having an effect on our future generations. The epidemic can only be arrested if all health-care providers collectively work together for the health of women that are pregnant and have an opioid disorder along with a concern for the unborn infants. The collaboration of health-care providers can happen with the guidance of a navigator / care coordinator that at times may have had the role of a counselor. There are concerns for the pregnant woman along with the infant and this requires a network of providers to work together through the pregnancy and beyond to create a healthy environment for the family.
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