Prenatal Opioid Exposure Could Bring Long-Term Harm to Kids

By Amy Norton

Children exposed to opioids in the womb may have heightened risks of long-term mental and physical health issues, a new study suggests.

The findings, published online June 28 in JAMA Network Open, dovetail with an opioid epidemic that has taken a widespread toll in the United States -- pregnant women and newborns included.

Opioid use has been rising among pregnant women nationally. A study last year found that in 2014-2015, just over six out of every 1,000 births were to women using opioids. That was up from 1.5 per 1,000 a decade before.