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Addicted baby born every three days

Figures obtained by the Irish Examiner show the scale of the hidden health crisis, despite repeated HSE and Tusla public awareness campaigns.

Details released under the Freedom of Information Act show that between 2014 and 2017, doctors diagnosed a newborn baby suffering withdrawal from addiction to alcohol or drugs (legal or illegal) 485 times.

The latest available figures, which equate to one diagnosis every three days of a newborn baby less than a month old, show:

  • 485 diagnoses were made between 2014 and 2017 — 146 in 2014, 113 in 2015, 119 in 2016, and 107 in 2017;
  • Of these, 25 babies were born affected by alcohol — nine in 2014, eight in 2015, and “five or less” in both 2016 and 2017;
  • 370 babies were born addicted to legal or illegal drugs — 100 in 2014, 96 in 2015, 95 in 2016, and 79 in 2017;
  • A further 118 babies were born affected by legal or illegal drugs — 48 in 2014, 16 in 2015, 27 in 2016, and 27 in 2017.


Source: Fiachra Ó Cionnaith, Irish Examiner, 11th March 2019

Posted by on 03/11 at 09:27 AM in
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