New CDC Report on Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome in 28 states, 1999–2013
Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) is a group of withdrawal symptoms that occurs primarily among newborns exposed to opioids during pregnancy. In today’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, CDC reports on Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome trends in 28 states using hospital discharge data from 1999 through 2013.
- From 1999 through 2013, the rate of NAS increased 300 percent, from 1.5 to 6.0 cases per 1,000 hospital births. In 2013, more than 8,000 newborns were born with NAS, compared to about 2,000 newborns in 1999.
- In 2013, there was considerable variation in NAS incidence rates by state, ranging from 0.7 (Hawaii) to 33.4 (West Virginia) cases per 1,000 hospital births.
Prevention efforts, such as Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs, are needed to reduce inappropriate prescribing and dispensing of opioids. Clinicians should follow recommended guidelines for prescribing opioids and provide screening and treatment for opioid use disorder among pregnant and non-pregnant women 18–44 years old. Monitoring NAS rates by state is important to ensure that treatment and resources are available locally to address maternal opioid use and NAS.
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