Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome - Strategies for States and Health Plans
With the epidemic of prescription painkiller abuse and related increase in heroin dependence, the health system is facing an alarming rise in neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). NAS afflicts newborns exposed to drugs, most commonly opioids, while in utero. These infants may experience withdrawal symptoms like vomiting, weight loss, hypersensitivity to light and sound, seizures, and potential long-term developmental effects. Between 2000 and 2009 NAS incidence tripled, stirring the public and private health sectors to find better ways to identify and treat pregnant women struggling with addiction.
This webinar highlighted strategies for preventing and treating neonatal abstinence syndrome. Speakers discussed the following:
- Recent trends in opioid abuse and NAS, with an overview of federally-led prevention efforts
- The impact of rising NAS rates across the states, including the implications for Medicaid, and examples of state-level action
- A health plan-led initiative to improve care coordination and social support for pregnant women in treatment for addiction
- The latest in NAS treatment, and an assessment of where public and private investments would be most beneficial