More babies being born with drug addictions
Many newborns are now being born addicted to prescription painkillers. Video by ktnv.comvideo
(KTNV) -- Hospitals say they are seeing a growing trend -- more babies born with drug addictions.
At the Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit at East Tennessee Children's Hospital, nearly half of the newborns are going through withdrawal from prescription pills.
Staff says a lot of pregnant women these days have addictions to painkillers like Oxycontin and Vicodin. They are passing those drugs onto their babies, who then have painful withdrawal symptoms after birth.
The hospital in Knoxville actually started a special detox unit for newborns and it is already full.
Nurses are developing a treatment program just for those babies but they say it requires a lot of trial and error and time. They estimate that it costs about $53,000 to wean each newborn off of drugs and more than half of the cases are on Medicaid.
ABC News talked to one teen mom who said that painkiller are the new party drug because they are so easy to get and that is why so many newborns are addicted to prescription drugs.
Unfortunately, the side effect that no one has been talking about until now is drug-dependent newborns.