Decreased Funding of Opioid Addicted Children
Tens of thousands of infants born in the U.S. each year now have neonatal abstinence syndrome and longterm health effects from maternal opioid use during pregnancy. The funding to help these children is dissipating, and many families now are struggling to pay for resources to help their child.
According to a government report, the number of babies being born in the United States addicted to opioids has tripled in the last 15 years. This is because almost every drug passes from the mother’s bloodstream through the placenta to the fetus. Illicit substances that cause drug dependence and addiction in the mother also cause the fetus to become addicted. At birth, the baby’s dependence on the substance continues. However, since the drug is no longer available, the baby’s central nervous system becomes overstimulated causing the symptoms of withdrawal.
Some drugs are more likely to cause neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) than others, but nearly all have some effect on the baby. Opioids, such as heroin and methadone, cause withdrawal in over half of babies exposed prenatally. Studies determined that there is a five-fold increase in babies born with NAS from 2000 to 2012. This equates to one baby suffering from opioid withdrawal born every 25 minutes. Newborns with NAS are more likely than other babies to also have low birth weight and respiratory complications. Plus, this includes long-term health effects.
Lack of Funding
Taking care of a child with NAS can be expensive. Many families turn to federal resources to offset the cost. However, the federal funding for children’s services decreased by 16% between 2004 and 2014. Plus, these services can only be used by families who are below a certain income level. However, the opioid epidemic afflicted families from all socioeconomic backgrounds.
Oklahoma, which has one of the highest opioid addiction rates saw in just 3 years funding opioid services decrease by more than $27 million dollars chipped away from its budget. This could be in part of legislative gridlock and loss of state tax revenue. Regardless, children are being left behind.
Filing an Opioid Lawsuit Could Protect Generations
Drug manufacturers lied to us about the addictive nature of opioids, and medical professionals prescribe them. Prescribing these drugs in high doses and for prolonged periods of time can lead to addiction and other devastating injuries. These include, among other adverse side effects, dependence, the craving to seek more drugs, use of other legal painkillers, use of other illegal drugs, and worst of all, overdose and death.
Doctors should only prescribe powerful opioid pain-killers such as fentanyl, oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine, or methadone (drugs with common names such as Vicodin, Percocet, and OxyContin) for short-term, intense pain, not to treat chronic pain conditions.
America’s opioid epidemic has affected, injured, or killed tens of thousands of Americans. It’s a preventable national tragedy. Drug manufacturers of opioid pain-killers have advertised their products as being less addictive than they actually are. Drug manufacturers have sometimes alleged that these drugs are safe to treat chronic pain. This marketing has lured scores of medication users and even doctors, into a false sense of security in using and prescribing such drugs.
Therefore, if your child suffered a defect from maternal opioid use, contact us today. We have decades of experience going against pharmaceutical companies and drug manufacturers that produce unsafe products.