The research, published in the latest edition of the international journal Pediatrics, also found that these infants were at greater risk of neglect and of being taken into care.
The data analysis revealed that of 637195 live births in Western Australia between 1980 and 2005, 906 were diagnosed with Neonatal Withdrawal Syndrome. For every year, there was an average 16.4% increase in children born with the syndrome.
Report co-author, Professor Fiona Stanley from Perth's Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, said the study identified a range of factors that should assist with the early identification of children at risk.
"It is clear that if we are to reduce the number of these children suffering from abuse and neglect, then there is a need to start working with their mothers before these babies are born, and ideally, pre-conception," Professor Stanley said.
"Our data show that the majority of the mothers had already had contact with hospitals for mental health and substance use issues which suggests there could have been numerous opportunities to intervene to prevent unplanned pregnancy and provide intensive support with antenatal care and substance abuse treatment."
"A multidisciplinary team that includes obstetricians, social workers, drug and alcohol workers, and welfare workers is required to case manage and support the women through the complex issues that they face. However it is imperative that this support continues long term."
Professor Stanley said the increase in babies suffering NWS reflected the overall rise in substance abuse within the community and the increased recognition of NWS by health professionals. While this study was in WA, it is likely that it reflects a national trend.
"We now have the situation where 4 babies out of every 1000 births are born suffering the effects of illicit drugs -- that is over 1000 newborns per year in Australia. This has serious implications for the child, the family and the whole community and is an issue that must be tackled well before these children suffer potential harm."
The study was made possible by a groundbreaking agreement by the Western Australian Government Departments of Health and Child Protection that allowed health and welfare records to be linked and the de-identified information given to researchers for analysis.
The research was supported by an Australian Research Council Linkage Project Grant.
Elizabeth Chester | EurekAlert!
Innovative genetic tests for children with developmental disorders and epilepsy
11.07.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
Oxygen loss in the coastal Baltic Sea is “unprecedentedly severe”
05.07.2018 | European Geosciences Union
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.
Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
17.07.2018 | Information Technology
17.07.2018 | Materials Sciences
17.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering