Prenatal opioid exposure could bring long-term harm to kids

Prenatal opioid exposure could bring long-term harm to kids
(Source: Live 5)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The opioid epidemic has taken a widespread toll across the country. A new government report is shedding light on the lasting impacts of opioid use during pregnancy, and the impact on a child.

Researchers studied data from more than 8,500 mothers and their children and followed more than 3,000 of those kids for 21 years. Opioid use during pregnancy was more likely to result in the baby being born prematurely and with a lower birth weight.

When it comes to the long-term impacts, the children were more likely to be diagnosed with a conduct disorder before the age of six. When they got older, they were more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD.

In the last 25 years, the United States experienced a dramatic increase in the use of opioids, resulting in unprecedented levels of overdose, opioid use disorder and other harms related to opioids.

This research is from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and is published in JAMA Network Open.

According to the study, the nationwide rate of opioid-use disorder among women delivering newborns more than quadrupled between 1999 and 2014.

Opioid drug use during pregnancy, whether heroin or prescription painkillers, harms the health of mother and child. A major consequence is opioid-associated neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), defined by signs of withdrawal that infants develop after in utero exposure to opioids

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