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New data reveals 52 Tayside babies born with drug addiction condition

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New figures have revealed that at least 52 babies have been born addicted to drugs across Tayside since 2017. Seventeen were born in the 2017-18 period, 19 in 2018-19, nine in 2019-20 and seven in 2020-21.The statistics - acquired via a Scottish Lib Dems Freedom of Information request - reports the number of children born with a condition known as neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS).This is caused by substances taken by the mother passing through the body and being absorbed by the baby themselves, leading to the child becoming dependent on these drugs before being born.It means that babies can experience withdrawal symptoms and effects when the umbilical cord is cut from the mother, potentially requiring more specialist care as they withdraw in more serious cases.The symptoms in these cases can include uncontrollable trembling, hyperactivity, blotchy skin and high-pitch crying.The FOI data reveals a total of 852 cases of NAS were reported in Scotland from 2017 to 2021, with the largest number of infants in NHS Lothian at 434 cases.

It comes as drug deaths in Perth and Kinross rose by over a third in 2021 as the country recorded the highest drug death rate in Europe.

Thirty-four fatalities were recorded across the region, according to data released by the National Records of Scotland.NHS Tayside’s associate director of midwifery Lesley Sharkey said specialised teams are giving their utmost to help support mums and newborns suffering from addiction.“Any reduction in the number of babies born with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) is welcome, however, our multi-agency teams continue to work hard to support mums to be who are identified as using substances or who are on any substance replacement therapy which may affect

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