October is Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) Awareness Month, and Tennessee has a long way to go in battling this problem. Babies born with NAS have a set of withdrawal symptoms as a result of prenatal exposure to prescription drugs or heroin.
Statistics from the Tennessee Departement of Health are grim. Since January 1st of this year:
- 565 babies have been born with NAS
- 23.9 out of 1,000 births in East Tennessee have NAS symptoms
- In 72% of cases, at least one of the substances causing NAS was prescribed to the mother by a health care provider
Snap your photo, and post to social media using the hashtag #NASMonthTN. A suggested post could be as simple as, “A baby’s life shouldn’t begin with detox. I’m wearing my pearls/bowtie today to support NAS awareness in TN. #NASMonthTN.”
If you are a local mother looking for help, the “Day One Women’s Recovery Support Group” meets at LeConte Medical Center in the classrooms (across from the cafeteria) every Monday night from 6pm to 7:30pm. This group, sponsored by HEAL, is led by Jennifer Maddron, MD, and is a safe place for women who struggle with addiction. For information, please call 423-435-6585.