Awareness for NAS is needed as cases increase in the RGV

Local News

PHARR, Texas (KVEO) — Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) is a condition that requires a high level of care. 

According to the Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, NAS is a result of the sudden discontinuation of fetal exposure to substances that were used or abused by the mother during pregnancy.

Efrain Garcia, the Behavioral Health Solutions Program Director, said spreading awareness of NAS is important because cases within children have increased in the Rio Grande Valley.

“Unfortunately, yes, we are seeing more every time,” said Garcia.

Garcia said the result of a baby with NAS is due to misuse of drugs during pregnancy.

Some of the most common drugs are opioids, pain relievers, morphine, sleeping pills, and addictive substances like heroin. 

Although all abnormal child symptoms are encouraged to be taken seriously, Garcia said the following are some of the most common: 

  • high pitched crying
  • muscle tension
  • hyperactive reflexes
  • seizures
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • dehydration 
  • sweating 
  • fever

Garcia wants the community to be familiar with NAS signs to determine if their child needs proper medication. 

Behavioral Health Solutions’ Caring for Mommies program is one of the many resources available for substance abuse. 

Anyone interested in the program or in need of help can reach out at (956) 368-5557 ext. 305.

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