Congressman Tim Ryan Raises Awareness on the Impact of Opioid Addiction on Infants

Washington, DC – Congressman Ryan today hosted a briefing on the dramatic increase in maternal opioid use and neonatal abstinence syndrome. This briefing was in conjunction with the Congressional Addiction, Treatment and Recovery Caucus (in which Ryan is the Co-Chair) and the Bipartisan Task Force to Combat the Heroin Epidemic (in which Ryan is a member).

When a pregnant woman uses opioids during pregnancy, she is putting her child at risk of respiratory complications, low birth weight, feeding difficulties, and seizures. And unfortunately every 25 minutes, a baby is born suffering from opioid withdrawal, with an estimated 21,732 babies born with this syndrome since 2012.

 

“As Co-Chair of the Congressional Addiction, Treatment and Recover Caucus, it is my duty to raise awareness about this troubling issue. As the United States responds to the heroin and prescription drug epidemic, it is important to remember these newborns who are unfortunately the most vulnerable and youngest victims of this ongoing crisis. This syndrome is treatable, and we must do everything in our power to make sure these children are given the care they need to live long, healthy lives,” said Congressman Ryan.

The briefing included presentations from Dr. Wilson Compton, MD, MPE, Deputy Director, National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIH; Dr. Melinda Campopiano, MD, Medical Officer, Division of Pharmacologic Therapies, Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, SAMHSA; Dr. Hendree Jones, PhD, Executive Director of UNC Horizons; and Dr. Arthur R. James, MD, member of the Division of Adolescent Medicine and an OB/GYN for The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.