Officials at a hospital in Richmond say 30 percent of mothers who gave birth there last year tested positive for an illicit or high-risk drug.

At Reid Health, 211 of the more than 684 women who gave birth tested positive for one of seven types of drugs, the Palladium-Item reported.

Fifty-eight of the positive tests were for opiates, such as heroin. That far surpassed positive results on screenings for marijuana, which 1 in 7 mothers tested positive for.

The hospital began drug screens on all women delivering at the hospital in the middle of 2015 after a growing trend of babies were born with neonatal abstinence syndrome, which involves newborns experiencing withdrawal from drug addiction.

Lisa Suttle, director of the psychiatric service line for Reid, said not all of the babies born to mothers testing positive to a drug would suffer withdrawal.

Reid Health has planned a cooperative effort to assist mothers with addictions and babies with neonatal abstinence syndrome, which are required to be reported to the state Department of Child Services.

The plan includes Reid Health working with the Richmond Comprehensive Treatment Center to manage an addiction during pregnancy.

Women addicted to a drug are discouraged from undergoing withdrawal during pregnancy, due to trauma experienced by the baby.

After birth, an addicted mother would utilize the Bridge System, which alleviates withdrawal pain.
Under the plan a mother would be able to keep her baby if she were to progress in her treatment.

Original Article via TheCannabist