Professional Resource

Member Exclusive

What Does the Opiate Epidemic Mean for Babies?

The true extent of long-term effects of prenatal exposure to specific forms of opiates and related drugs such as methadone, buprenorphine, naloxone, or heroin is unclear; often times, multiple substances (including alcohol) are involved.

by Kalpana Miriyala, ZERO TO THREE Fellow 2016–2018; Assistant Professor, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Marshall University School of Medicine

A new baby is a new beginning, promising new hope. For pregnant women struggling with opiate dependence, pregnancy and childbirth bring additional challenges as they navigate a variety of systems ranging from medical to social services. Watching a baby in withdrawal can be heart wrenching. Rates of heroin use and overdose deaths from opiates are continuing to rise, more so in rural areas. The epidemic is eating away at the fabric of society in far-flung little towns across the country that have limited access to specialty services.

Member Exclusive

This content is available only to ZERO TO THREE members. In addition to outstanding resources like this, ZERO TO THREE membership provides a wide range of valuable benefits and exclusive opportunities to connect with your peers.

Learn More about membership Already a member? Sign In