3 facts you should know about Oklahoma babies born with drugs or alcohol in their system
As difficult as it might be to believe and understand, 375 babies born last year in Oklahoma had drugs or alcohol in their system. That’s a 16.5 percent increase over the previous year.
A recent story by The Oklahoman’s Jennifer Palmer details the increase, and what the addicted babies experience after being born.
For those who missed the story, or those who want the quick facts, here are 3 things you should know about Oklahoma babies born addicted to drugs.
No. 3 – DHS, abuse and the numbers
The Oklahoma Department of Human Services reports 375 Oklahoma newborns tested positive for drugs or alcohol in 2014. In 2013, that number was 322.
DHS verified abuse or neglect in 187 of the cases. In 68 cases, DHS recommended removing the child from the home due to drug use. In 96 cases, newborns tested positive for prescription drugs.
No. 2 – Hospitals matter
Drug abuse in Oklahoma is a growing problem, especially with prescription drugs. DHS depends on hospitals to report instances in which newborns test positive for drugs or alcohol and, while urban hospitals do their part, rural hospitals can do better.
No. 1 – What newborns experience
DHS states babies born addicted to drugs or alcohol can suffer a myriad of complications, such as withdrawal, which often lead to long-lasting health issues. The newborns can suffer seizures, excessive crying, fever, sweating and vomiting.