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The clinicians who care for infants with neonatal abstinence syndrome have established extensive treatment protocols to control withdrawal symptoms, which prevents many children from suffering short and long-term effects.
Teens, adults, and now the rise of a new generation affected by the opioid crisis. According to federal statistics, every 25 seconds a baby is born-- helpless and hooked on opioids. Their battle to get clean is heart-wrenching.
Massachusetts hospitals are seeing evidence that the opioid epidemic is affecting the next generation, with an increasing number of babies being born exposed to drugs. The most recent state hospital data suggest that the rate of drug-dependent newborns has skyrocketed to about 16 in every 1,000 births — about three times the national average.
After 40 years and a trillion dollars, the nation has little to show for its war on drugs. Prisons are beyond crowded and there's a new outbreak in the heroin epidemic.
Natalia Nowakowski was born prematurely at 29 weeks with a host of medical issues. With help from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, the Special Care Nursery and the Newborn Developmental Follow-Up Clinic at MassGeneral Hospital for Children, Natalia, now 3 years old, is a thriving as a happy, healthy preschooler with a love for music and dance.
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