Rural Hospitals See Surge in Opioid-Dependent Babies

From US News:

Rural U.S. communities are seeing a surge in infants experiencing opioid withdrawal at birth because of widespread drug abuse by pregnant women, a new study finds.

These tiny victims of the U.S. opioid epidemic are born addicted to heroin and powerful prescription painkillers such as OxyContin, Vicodin and Percocet. And this public health crisis is hitting rural residents harder than their urban cousins, researchers say.

Investigators found that from 2004 to 2013, rural communities experienced a nearly 80 percent higher rise in infant opioid withdrawal rates, relative to cities.

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