Smithville Mayor Jimmy Poss and County Mayor Tim Stribling on behalf of the DeKalb Prevention Coalition have signed proclamations recognizing the month of October 2017 as Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Awareness Month.
Over the last decade, the use of opioid pain relievers in the United States and Tennessee has increased rapidly. Accompanying that increase in drug use has been an increase in Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS).
NAS is a condition in which an infant experiences withdrawal from opioid substances the mother took during pregnancy. The withdrawal symptoms include fever, seizures, continuous crying, rapid breathing, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound. According to the Tennessee Department of Health, 991 babies in Tennessee were born with NAS in 2016.
In October, Tennessee is observing Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Awareness Month. To help raise awareness, the community is asked to participate in the “Pearls & Bowties for Babies” campaign on Friday, October 6. Lisa Cripps, Coordinator of the DeKalb Prevention Coalition urges you to wear a bowtie or pearls for babies and post a picture on social media with a suggested post like “I’m wearing my pearls or bowtie in support of NAS Awareness Month using the hashtag#NASMonthTN.
“The DeKalb Prevention Coalition encourages you to invite your family, friends, Sunday School class, and co-workers to participate. Get your bowties and pearls ready. Snap a picture and then post that picture on Friday, October 6. We appreciate your efforts in helping us create a safe community here in DeKalb County free of substance abuse,” said Cripps.
Pictured is Smithville Mayor Jimmy Poss, DeKalb Prevention Coalition Coordinator Lisa Cripps, DeKalb Prevention Coalition Community Outreach Liaison Norene Puckett, DeKalb County Mayor Tim Stribling.
The combined resolutions are as follows:
WHEREAS, abuse and dependence of prescription painkillers, heroin and other opioids have led to an opioid epidemic in the City of Smithville, DeKalb County, and our state; and
WHEREAS, prenatal exposure to opioids may result in opioid dependency called Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) when the infant is born; and
WHEREAS, babies with NAS experience irritability, low birth weight, respiratory condition, tremors and seizures, feeding difficulties and other health-related challenges; and
WHEREAS, the number of babies in Tennessee reported with a diagnoses of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome from January 01, 2017 to July 30, 2017 was 565, with approximately 9 percent being born in the Upper Cumberland Region; and
WHEREAS, the rate of NAS in inpatient settings increased by 15 fold between 2005 and 2015, resulting in three infants per day being born drug dependent; and
WHEREAS, The highest rates of NAS in 2017 have occurred in the Northeast and Upper Cumberland Health Regions, and Sullivan County.
WHEREAS, 72 percent of infants born with NAS in Tennessee were exposed to at least one prescription drug with or without an illicit drug; and
WHEREAS, prevention education, public awareness and knowledge of available treatment resources are crucial in reducing the physical, social and economic impact of NAS.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Jimmy Poss, Mayor of the City of Smithville, and DeKalb County Mayor Tim Stribling do hereby recognize the month of October 2017 as
NEONATAL ABSTINENCE SYNDROME AWARENESS MONTH 2017
Throughout the City of Smithville and DeKalb County all Smithvillians and DeKalb Countians are encouraged to join in the fight to stem the tide of opioid abuse and dependence – especially as it relates to mothers and newborns – by learning about NAS prevention and treatment.
On this 4th day of October 2017.