Kentucky’s Treatment Anomaly

Kentucky is birthing babies in opioid withdrawal at 3 times the national average, with neonatal abstinence syndrome up 6,000% since 2009.
 
At PATHways, a new University of Kentucky program for expectant mothers with substance abuse problems, 3/4 of enrollees now give birth free of illicit drugs. Buprenorphine replaces heroin, easing cravings, and opioid-dependent moms breastfeed and cuddle their newborns to calm withdrawal symptoms. Several follow-up years of parenting and addiction care help mothers avoid enforced foster care, or bringing babies into drug-afflicted households.
 
Nationwide by 2012, a baby was born in withdrawal every 24 minutes—but programs like PATHways remain scarce.
 
Pacific Standard

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