Bioethics News

Weaning the Youngest Opioid Patients

March 28, 2016

(The Atlantic) – Swaddled in soft hospital blankets, Lexi is 2 weeks old and weighs 6 pounds. She’s been at Women and Infants Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island since she was born, and is experiencing symptoms of opioid withdrawal. Her mother took methadone to wean herself from heroin when she got pregnant, just as doctors advised. But now the hospital team has to wean newborn Lexi from the methadone. As rates of opioid addiction have climbed in the U.S., the number of babies born with neonatal abstinence syndrome has increased, too — by five-fold from 2000 to 2012, according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse.

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