A new study that was published this week in The Journal of the American Medical Association says that on average, one baby born every hour is now addicted to opiates in the United States. Opiates include illegal drugs such as heroin and prescription drugs such as Vicodin.
Dr. Stephen Patrick from the University of Michigan, who was one of the lead researchers, told PBS that the research took place for nine years, from 2000 to 2009. By 2009, 13,000 children were born addicted to opiates, which means that the numbers had tripled in the span of a decade.
According to Dr. Patrick, newborns who are exposed to harmful drugs while in the womb are more irritable and are often inconsolable. These infants can experience seizures and breathing problems, along with other long term health problems. The study also showed that the children have longer hospital stays compared to other newborns.