The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Local Business

November 19, 2013

Tiny addicts reach alarming numbers

State officials urge legislators to create new laws to improve public health problem

ANDERSON, Ind. — An alarming increase in the rate of drug dependency is being reported by some of Indiana’s newest citizens and state officials want to curb the problem.

The addicts are newborns.

A high-pitch scream of a newborn experiencing withdrawal is unmistakable, said Deidre Kettery, OB clinical manager for Community Hospital Anderson.

“It’s almost panicked,” she said. “They are shaky and inconsolable.”

The condition, known as neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), occurs when expecting mothers take drugs that create the addictions in newborns. Babies diagnosed with NAS are given morphine and kept in the hospital until they can be weaned off the drugs.

During their withdrawal, infants are fussy, hard to calm down, have diarrhea, bad rashes, vomiting and life-threatening seizures.

Both legal and illegal narcotics have been linked to the withdrawals in newborns including cocaine, marijuana, heroin, methadone, codeine, oxycodone, OxyContin, Vicodin, Ritalin, Adderall, Paxil, Zoloft, Seroquel, Zyprexa, Xanax, Valium, Ativan, Klonopin and barbiturates, according to the National Institute of Health.

A task force comprised of both Indiana medical and legal experts is pushing for a law that would allow closer monitoring of mothers using drugs that cause NAS. The law would also provide some protection for expectant mothers if they voluntarily seek and stay in treatment for any addictions.

Natalie Robinson, coordinator of the Attorney General’s Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force, told members of the legislative Commission on Mental Health and Addiction the problem has reached epidemic levels.

“Even more startling than the higher risks, is the pain and suffering that a newborn with NAS endures after birth,” she told the commission in October.

Dr. Teri Schulz-Compton, a pediatrician with St. Vincent Anderson Regional Hospital, said the problem is serious for a variety of reasons.

“The number is definitely growing,” she said of the number of children born with NAS in Madison County. “Nobody really knows what the long-term developmental effects are or the baby’s ability to learn later.”

Text Only
Local Business
  • boynton, brandon photo Teen receives funding for business venture Brandon Boynton is moving forward with his business dreams, thanks in part to a local working capital loan and a fundraising campaign.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Senior housing project advances If all the pieces fall into place within the next two weeks, construction on a new senior housing development could begin this fall.

    July 30, 2014

  • Roundabout bids higher than expected Bids for a planned facelift of the gateway into Anderson from Interstate 69 at Scatterfield Road came in considerably higher than the engineer’s estimate for the project.

    July 29, 2014

  • FEA - HB0729 - Senior Falls Aging safely in the comfort of her home Marilyn Moneyhun said being totally reliant on others is difficult. "Losing your independence is a shock to your system," Moneyhun, 84, said. "You are not in control anymore."

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS - HB0728 - business expansion CB Fabricating makes $2 million investment

    A local business founded in 2006 has invested $2 million in new equipment and a building expansion.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Charo Boyd: 'My Social Security' simplifies your life So many people buzz through extremely busy and complicated schedules these days. A smartphone in one hand, a computer in front of you, and a digital task list that never seems to end. In addition, to complicate things just a little more, there’s another event you need to add to your list — National Simplify Your Life week.

    July 28, 2014

  • nws - hb0725 - colts - jc - 4.jpg Colts camp's impact: pricey or priceless?

    Football fever is here and the city is flooded with fans eager to catch a glimpse of a favorite player. But officials say they are unclear what kind of economic impact the Indianapolis Colts training camp has on the area.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • BIZ - HB0727 - Skill gap 2 Seeking a solution today, not tomorrow Tina Warner-Morton says she wants to open her own healthcare business because it is too difficult to work for an employer with unclear employee expectations.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • BIZ - HB0727 - Cathy Cupboard Biz Profile Business Profile: Cathy's Cupboard focuses on customer satisfaction Cathy McPhearson opened her first storefront in June, but this is not her first venture into business. “I have always wanted to have my own business,” she said. “The problem was finding what people like, but everyone seems to like candles.”

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital named Level III trauma center The Trauma Center at Indiana University Health Ball Memorial Hospital has been verified as a Level III Trauma Center by an ad hoc committee of the Committee on Trauma (COT) of the American College of Surgeons.

    July 26, 2014

Stocks
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide