HERSHEY, Pennsylvania (WHTM) – A new study shows that the number of Pennsylvania-born babies with opioid withdrawal symptoms has increased by 1,000% since 2000.
The Healthcare Council's cost containment released data stating that more babies are born who are diagnosed with a neonatal abstinence syndrome or NAS.
Joe Martin of the Council says these babies do not get a good head start in life. "This is one of the worst tragedies of this whole epidemic is the impact it has on babies," said Martin.
Dr. Tammy Corr of Penn State Children's Hospital says that nearly 2,000 babies were born drug dependent in Pennsylvania last year. "So more mothers who expose their babies to opioids will lead to more babies who experience neonatal abstinence syndrome," Corr said.
Although Governor Tom Wolf Pennsylvania has stated, in a state of emergency with the opioid crisis, the numbers Show that the state can not keep up with the rising health care costs for fitting these babies.
Martin says the cost exceeds a total of $ 14 million. That's because babies with N.A.S. in hospitals are about 5 times longer than normal for treatment.
"All the typical things one would expect the mother to tie together and be able to sleep with her baby, to breastfeed, to bring the baby home and to meet with the family. All are going through hinders the fact that the baby is stuck in intensive care until treatment here, "Corr said.
The PA figures show that counties like York and Lancaster are leading the rate of drug-addicted babies  "I think the state is doing a good job, but the problem is so strong that we all have to fight how we can handle it properly, "said Martin.
It is unclear from now when the next study will be published, but they say they will continue to research and monitor this issue.