Opioids: Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome/Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome

Opioid use has extensive public health implications. In Wisconsin, drug-related deaths involving opioids (per 100,000 population) increased from 5.3 in 2006 to 6.7 in 2015. Cases of neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) (per 1000 hospital births) increased from 2.0 in 2006 to 8.7 in 2014. These figures may underestimate the actual numbers of infants affected because if women are not screened and their infants are discharged by day three of life, NAS associated with long-acting opioids, e.g., methadone or buprenorphine, may not be apparent and the infants may not be identified.

The aim of this clinical initiative is to improve care of infants with NAS/NOWS. The initiative focuses on two strategies:1) improve identification of infants at risk for Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS)/Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome (NOWS) and 2) standardize care. Future clinical initiatives will address screening women and improving care.

The five-month pilot for the initiative was launched on October 1, 2020. The statewide initiative will launch in March 2021. For additional information, email staff at wispqc@perinatalweb.org. To enroll in the initiative, click here.

These initiatives are supported by Cooperative Agreement Number DP006359, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Department of Health and Human Services.

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