Published on December 23rd, 2020 | by Bibhuranjan


How Do Babies Get Addicted to Opioids?

The opioid crisis has affected millions of lives in the United States, and often tragically, many of its youngest. Children whose mothers are addicted to opioids are often born addicted as well and can face lifelong complications from their condition. Knowing the signs of childhood addiction and its causes can help you secure compensation for your family members who have been affected by it.

Born Addicted: Babies Are the Youngest Victims of Opioid Abuse

While in the womb, babies are highly sensitive to foods and substances their mothers ingest. A substance such as alcohol, tobacco, or opioids can have an outsize effect on a fetus, which is many times smaller than an adult and fully dependent on nutrition from its mother. If the mother ingests addictive substances, even if the mother shows no signs of addiction, the baby could develop one.

Some mothers have prescribed opioids while they are pregnant, while others abuse opioids as part of an addiction. If a baby is born addicted to a drug, they will go into withdrawal when they are no longer exposed to it. They may also develop a severe condition known as neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS)

What is NAS?

In children, NAS manifests as withdrawal symptoms you would expect to find in someone much older. It can also include lasting developmental damage to a child’s abilities. Symptoms of NAS include the following:

  • Tremors
  • Respiratory distress
  • Agitation
  • Seizures

If your child was born addicted to opioids, they could face a lifetime of challenges. Speaking with one of the Laborde Earles Injury lawyers can put you in a position to seek justice and compensation to assist with your child’s medical bills and potential earnings losses across their lifetime.

What Other Health Problems Can Babies Addicted to Opioids Have?

Babies who are born addicted to opioids can have a wide range of health problems, including the following birth defects:

  • Spina bifida
  • Hydrocephaly
  • Cleft lip with or without cleft palate
  • Heart problems
  • Musculoskeletal disorders
  • Cataracts
  • Intestinal problems
  • And more

Children who are exposed to opioids can suffer severe birth defects that cause a lifetime of pain and suffering. They could be entitled to significant compensation, but it’s important to file a claim on their behalf as soon as possible. An injury lawyer specializing in opioid addiction in children can be of assistance to you and can help you navigate through this complex process.

Can Prescribed Medications Cause Opioid Addiction?

It shocks many mothers, but the medication they have been prescribed by a doctor and which they have taken during pregnancy can cause opioid addiction and NAS in their children. Some mothers who had previous children may have become addicted to painkillers that were prescribed by their doctor. In order to wean themselves off the addiction, they may have taken another prescribed medication, such as buprenorphine or methadone. Unfortunately, this too can cause opioid addiction in fetuses, yet doctors often opt to keep a mother on them to avoid her suffering a fatal overdose of opioids in a relapse episode.

Bottom Line

If you or your child were born addicted to opioids, it’s vital to seek out help from a qualified injury lawyer. You may be able to seek compensation from the medical professionals involved in your prescription or from the drug companies themselves. Many people are now pursuing legal cases relating to opioid addiction, as this national tragedy is finally getting the resources, care, and attention that it deserves. Don’t lose your chance to make your life and that of your child a little easier with compensation for the damages that your family has suffered.

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Editorial Officer, I'm an avid tech enthusiast at heart. I like to mug up on new and exciting developments on science and tech and have a deep love for PC gaming. Other hobbies include writing blog posts, music and DIY projects.

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