April 10, 2011

babies going through withdrawal?

From an article in the NYT today about babies who were exposed to opiates in utero and the intense withdrawal they go through when pregnant women try to quit "cold turkey" - seems incredibly relevant given all the opiate addictions I saw in Florida.

stay tuned for a top ten list of things I learned during my psych rotation!

“Most of the literature suggests consistently that the drug exposure itself is not the primary concern,” ...“It’s the cumulative effect of the drug-using lifestyle — poverty, chaos in the home, domestic violence. All those things affect development.”

Not all newborns exposed to opiates have severe enough withdrawal to need medicine; at Maine Medical Center since 2003, about 55 percent of babies exposed to buprenorphine and 80 percent of those exposed to methadone have needed treatment. But it is hard to predict which ones will need it: a newborn whose mother was on a high dose of either drug might need none, while a baby whose mother took a low dose might experience acute withdrawal.

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