More drug-addicted babies born in Rhode Island

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The Rhode Island Department of Health says that the number of babies born addicted to drugs is continuing to rise along with the rate of accidental overdose deaths in adults.

The department said Monday that 26 babies have been diagnosed with drug withdrawal symptoms in the first three months of this year, a rate of about 11 per 1,000 live births. It said that the number of affected babies nearly doubled between 2005 and 2012, from 4.4 per 1,000 live births to 8.3 in 2012.

Health Director Dr. Michael Fine said more support needs to be available for women and families at risk.

Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome occurs in babies born to mothers addicted to drugs, most commonly prescription pain medications or heroin. The infants may have difficulty feeding, sleeping, and could experience developmental delays.

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