Supporting Mothers and Children in the Fight Against Opioid Abuse, Misuse and Addiction
The opioid epidemic affects people from all walks of life, including teens, adults and even mothers-to-be. Opioid use among pregnant women can have devastating consequences for babies, which is why it is critically important that pregnant women struggling with opioid usage seek help immediately.
Nationally, up to 94 percent of babies exposed to opioids during pregnancy experience withdrawal symptoms and health complications when they’re born. This occurrence is known as neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). In the last 14 years, the rate of babies diagnosed with NAS has increased more than five-fold.
In Michigan, NAS incidences have nearly doubled between 2010 and 2016. This issue is especially prevalent in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. As of April 2018, more than one-third of babies admitted to the U.P.’s only NICU unit have been treated for NAS.
The upside to these staggering statistics is that the community is coming together to help reverse them, and reduce the stigma associated with receiving help to overcome addiction. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, alongside partners and advocates in the northern region of the state, is playing an active role by providing grants to support community response initiatives. This will ultimately help provide counseling, education, policy revision and more.
Blue Cross also supports proper disposal of opioids across the state through Drug Takeback Day. The day, which occurs twice each year, aims to have Michiganders safely dispose of their unused opioids and other prescriptions at secure drop-off locations. This can help those who are addicted achieve sobriety via finite access and safe disposal of the drugs.
Breaking an addiction doesn’t happen all at once, but it’s possible with the right support. If you or a mother you know is struggling with opioid addiction in Michigan’s northern region, Up North Prevention is an organization that may be able to help.
For more resources about the opioid crisis and ways you can help those struggling with addiction, read these other blogs:
- CEO Dan Loepp: How Blues Plans Are Working to Improve Addiction Treatment
- Facebook Live: Learn to Help a Loved One Struggling with Opioid Addiction
- Learn How Opioid Abuse Affects Michigan Families and Businesses
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