Report: Rate of newborns with drug problems up 250 percent

    A new state analysis of Pennsylvania hospital data shows the rate of infants born with drug abuse problems rose 250 percent from 2000 to 2015.

    The Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council report says nearly 2 percent of the roughly 2,700 newborn hospitalizations last year were due to substance-related issues. The group says that rate of 19.5 for every 1,000 newborn hospitalizations rose from 5.6 in 2000.

    The analysis says 52 percent of the roughly 4,600 maternal hospitalizations last year that were related to substance abuse involved painkillers, heroin or both. That rate of 16.8 for every 1,000 maternal hospitalizations involving opioids rose 510 percent from 2.8 in 2000.

    The report says newborns hospitalized with substance abuse issues in 2015 were addicted to opioids 82 percent of the time.

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