Author Affiliations: Department of Psychology, University of Maine, Orono, and Department of Pediatrics, Eastern Maine Medical Center and Psychiatry, Acadia Hospital, Bangor, Maine (Dr Hayes); and Department of Pediatrics, Eastern Maine Medical Center, Bangor (Dr Brown).
In this issue of JAMA, Patrick et al1 describe the effects on newborn infants of the widespread availability of prescription opiate medications. These medications provide superior pain control for cancer and chronic pain, but have been overprescribed, diverted, and sold illegally, creating a new opiate addiction pathway and a public health burden for maternal and child health.2 Overdose mortality and dependence rates are highest among disadvantaged, young adults in rural areas (eg, Maine and Kentucky).3
Hayes MJ, Brown MS. Epidemic of Prescription Opiate Abuse and Neonatal Abstinence. JAMA. 2012;307(18):1974-1975. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.4526