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Recent Birthrates of Newborns with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome in PA

Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, or NAS, refers to a range of medical problems that develop shortly after birth in newborns who were exposed to addictive drugs while in the womb. These newborns develop withdrawal symptoms once they are born because they are no longer exposed to the drug upon which they are dependent when they leave the womb. While the rate of newborns suffering from drug withdrawal has remained relatively stable since 2016, this issue remains a serious and heart-wrenching problem in our society that could potentially spike upwards again.

According to the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council, in FY 2018, there were 1,833 NAS-related newborn stays in Pennsylvania for a rate of 14.4 per 1,000 newborn stays. However, this number is only 55 percent of the 3,354 newborns exposed to addictive drugs before birth.

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