Babies Born Addicted – The Unexpected Consequences of the 2008 Wall Street Crash
Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) – the group of symptoms experienced by a baby going through withdrawal from the drug he or she became addicted to while in the womb of an addict mother – has been skyrocketing for years in Indiana. The increase from 2000 to 2010 alone was 3,900 percent, and it continues. What brought it about? Why is the NAS situation in Indiana so much worse than many other parts of the country?
Basically, there are two reasons: The economic crash and, almost simultaneously, the huge push from the pharmaceutical industry to get more people using drugs – especially prescription painkillers.
Although the entire country was affected by the 2008 Wall Street crash, some States and areas were hit much worse than others because they were heavily invested in certain industries. Indiana was home to Chrysler and General Motors plants, for example, and some of the plants closed down. A lot of employees lost their jobs. In other cases, employees were laid off. Also, wages and benefits were cut for those who were still working.
The bailouts helped the companies keep their doors open, but did little for the workers.
Unemployment rose to 7.1 percent right after the crash, and by 2009 (when the bailouts occurred) it had risen to 10.9 percent.
The problems also hit the mining, manufacturing and energy sectors, and the working class in Indiana fell apart at the seams.
At the same time, the pharmaceutical companies were pushing drugs down America’s throat with very aggressive, fraudulent, and illegal activities.
But the drugs gave the desperate citizens of Indiana the relief they needed. They kept taking the drugs, the big pharma money kept rolling in and, before long, addiction to these and other drugs had become epidemic.
The criminal promotion by the pharma industry pushed the number of prescriptions up – most recent stats show 1.09 opiate prescriptions for every person in the State. Many of the addicts moved into getting those drugs on the street and then switching to the less expensive and more accessible heroin, and the number of addicts kept climbing – as did the number of babies born to addicted mothers, having become addicted themselves while in the womb.
For a period of six months early in 2016 the Indiana Department of Health tested babies who were at risk for Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) for the presence of drugs. The results were shocking – one in five babies had drugs in their umbilical cord.
Some babies with NAS simply die. Others spend the first days, weeks, or even months of their life screaming in pain as they go through withdrawal.
If you live in Indiana, do what you can to help the situation. If you know someone with a drug problem, get them to get the addiction help they need. Fewer babies will be born addicted, and fewer will suffer the agony of NAS.