Opioid-Related Problems in Babies Surge in Rural Areas, Study Says

Peace and Freedom

Study finds births of infants exposed in the womb to heroin and other opioids grew at a faster rate in rural communities than in urban settings

Widespread abuse of opioids such as OxyContin has hit all corners of the U.S., but the impact has been particularly acute in rural areas.
Widespread abuse of opioids such as OxyContin has hit all corners of the U.S., but the impact has been particularly acute in rural areas.PHOTO: TOBY TALBOT,/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Dec. 12, 2016 11:00 a.m. ET

Opioid-related problems among pregnant women and infants in the U.S. are rising at a faster rate in rural communities than in urban settings, underscoring the terrible toll the addiction crisis is taking on small towns.

A new study found births of infants exposed in the womb to heroin and other addictive opioids grew more than sixfold in rural communities between 2004 and 2013, versus more than threefold in urban areas, according to results published in JAMA Pediatrics. The researchers looked at babiesā€¦

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