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August 22/29, 2012

Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome—Reply

JAMA. 2012;308(8):762-764. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.8598

In Reply: Drs Jones and Kaltenbach comment on key aspects of NAS and related research that may shape the next decade of inquiry about this condition and its prevention and therapy. They suggest that the recent 3-fold increase in NAS may be explained by heightened clinician awareness of the condition. We agree in principle and cited this as a potential limitation in the article. However, the increasing trend in maternal use and abuse of opiates also described in the study makes “heightened awareness” less likely as a major factor in the increasing trend. In addition, both maternal and newborn trends appear to correlate with the general population trend toward more opiate use and abuse.1