Oxycodone, as well as other opioid pills, were responsible for killing over 33,000 people in 2015 and a new study shows the rate of babies born addicted to the drug has jumped 538% in one state.
The study, conducted on child births between 2006 and 2015 in the state of Missouri, highlights the dramatic increase and predicts the problem to increase, dramatically.
The report, conducted by the Missouri Hospital Association and released on Tuesday, found the opioid addiction problem is rapidly worsening, in part, due to doctors over-prescribing the pain pills to pregnant mothers.
Missouri Hospital report found that eight out of every 1,000 babies suffer from opioid withdrawals and can develop seizures and other medical issues within the first few days of birth.
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Dr. Carl Weiner, a high-risk pregnancy specialist at the University of Kansas Health System, told KSHB 41 in Kansas City: “These are really scary numbers. One in seven women who has commercial insurance will get a prescription for an opioid during pregnancy.”
Fox 4 interviewed Krishna Dummula, a neonatologist at the University of Kansas Hospital, who said, “I think it goes back to how we’ve been prescribing opioids to adults, particularly to pregnant mothers. The threshold to treat pain has dramatically gone down over the years, which is why you’ve seen a five-fold increase in the amount of expecting mothers being on opioid medications of some sort.”
There is now a move to place restrictions on how many prescriptions doctors can write to patients, as well as to develop better ways to track patients who may try the common practice of going to several different doctors for prescriptions of the same medication.
Opioid deaths in America surpassed motor vehicle accident deaths in 2015 and are responsible for 63 percent of all drug fatalities, claiming 52,404 lives in 2015.
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