Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome ( Nas )

921 Words4 Pages
Every twenty-five minutes a baby is born suffering from opioid withdrawal called Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (“National Institute on Drug Abuse”). Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) - is a group of problems like seizures, vomiting, and diarrhea that a newborn faces when they have been exposed to addictive opiate drugs while in the mother’s womb (“Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome”). In 2012, around 21,732 babies were born with NAS (“National Institute on Drug Abuse”). Mothers who give birth to babies suffering from NAS should be penalized; the United States has laws protecting all children’s lives from any form of abuse, NAS is a form of child abuse and parents should lose all rights to their children. NAS has turned into an epidemic espicially in the state of Tennessee a little more than 320 babies were born with NAS in 2013. Tennessee was the first state to start keeping track of the number of cases of NAS. NAS occurs when pregnant women take drugs such as heroin, codeine, oxycodone, methadone, or buprenorphine (“Babies are being born addicted to drugs”). This happens when the substances pass through the placenta that connects the baby to its mother. Then the baby becomes dependent on the drug like the mother. Hospitals began treating these cases with morphine, by administering a dosage of morphine every few hours as needed and reducing the dosage until the baby was better. During this process doctors need to keep a look out for the babies since the morphine can cause them to stop breathing. A baby born with NAS usually suffers from low birth weight and respiratory problems. Heroin and cocaine are some of the most common drugs being abused, and they both have short and long term effects other than withdrawal symptoms: Such as ph... ... middle of paper ... saying that she was being charged for fetal assault and now was being taken to prison. Although not every child born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome was intentionally put at risk by the mother, it is understandable that the law should conduct more tests to determine the mother’s outcome. If a child is born with NAS and his or her toxic screen came back positive for a drug, the mother should face a penalty. Doctors should have the right to inform the mother of the consequences the child might face if she takes some drugs even if they are prescribed by a doctor. Then the mother should make her own decision regarding her drug consumption. One can conclude that NAS is a form of child abuse and that there are serious consequences for it that include the loss of all parental rights to the child and even a prison term depending on how severe the child’s symptoms are.
Open Document