Infants Born With Drug Addictions Increase By 80% In Rural Areas

Data from a pilot program on neonatal abstinence syndrome revealed that one out of five babies born in the countryside has a drug addiction.

Infant Addiction in Rural Areas is Spiraling Out of Control

The Results from the Study Were Shocking

The program, spearheaded by Indiana legislature, was carried out in 2014. The task force in charge of this research conducted a countrywide study. Four hospitals participated in the study and they included Hendricks Regional Health, Community Health East, Columbus Regional Health, and Schneck Medical Center. 

Surprisingly, the pilot study tested 300 babies with 20% of them testing positive for opiates with other drugs accounting for small percentages in the results. The tests were inspired by the fact that doctors were already suspicious of this problem i.e. infants born with drug addictions. The test results only confirmed their fears.

Hope for a Better Understanding of Drug Abuse within the Community

When carrying out the program, the participants did not have enough resources, but after the results were released, there was hope that the state will see the alarming figures and intervene. Gee-Weiler, the vice president of Women’s and Children Services, and Martha Allen, Director of Maternal and Child Health at Indiana State Health Department ran the program and hoped it would expand to include an additional number of hospitals. 

According to Allen, the initial results could not determine the prevalence in Indiana or if any problems needed to be handled. The two leaders, however, predicted that the number could be higher if more hospitals participated in the program and if they considered the number of people going through inpatient treatment programs.  

Gee-Weiler hoped that the initial data would help the community understand that drug addiction treatment was a serious issue. Additionally, she expected that the results would reduce the level of stigmatization drug abusers and users usually face within the community. Moreover, she added that none of the mothers intended to harm their baby and finally, none of them wanted to be a drug addict.


NAS occurs when the baby is exposed to certain prescription drugs when in the womb. It might be intense in some babies while in others it might have no effects.