The opiate epidemic is affecting the smallest Americans.
According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the number of infants born addicted to drugs has nearly quadrupled since 2004, fueled by the use of heroin and prescription pain killers among pregnant women.
Some states have been hit especially hard. In Kentucky, hospitalizations of drug-dependent newborns rose 48% last year alone.
“The seemingly never-ending increase every year is so frustrating to see,” said Van Ingram, executive director of the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy. “It's a horrible thing to spend the first days of your life in agony.”
Overall, in Kentucky there are 50 times more infants hositalized annually for drug issues than there were in 2000.