Out of every 1,000 live births in the state last year, 49.9 babies were born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS), a result of the sudden discontinuation of the baby’s in-utero exposure to substances used by the mother during pregnancy.

In 2014, the rate was 32.1 babies per 1,000, and in 2015, the rate was 34.4.

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources did not begin collecting NAS data from birth certificates until 2014. Public Information Officer Toby Wagoner said the data, therefore, is likely underreported.

“We believe with the increased emphasis on collecting this information and the general demand for information related to drug overdoes, addiction services, etc., this data will become increasingly more accurate.”

At FMRS Health Systems in Beckley, treatment options are available for pregnant women suffering from addiction.

Turning Pointe, a 90-day residential treatment program for pregnant and postpartum women, offers services for those who have substance use disorders and/or who have co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders.

According to the FMRS website, “Specialized services are offered for the women, their babies and young children (who may accompany them to treatment), older children and other significant family members with an overall goal of strengthening the family.”

The program allows pregnant women to slowly taper off opiates, or to use Medication Assisted Treatment (Subutex) while in residential treatment to minimize the impact on the developing fetus.

“The health of both mom and her baby are a key goal of the program,” the site said.

For more information or to make a referral, contact 304-252-6783.

The DHHR also works with families and children dealing with NAS through Home Visiting Programs, which give pregnant women and families necessary resources and skills to raise children who are physically, socially and emotionally healthy and ready to learn.

Goals for every program include improving maternal and child health, preventing child abuse and neglect, encouraging positive parenting and promoting child development and school readiness.

Children suspected of having or being at significant risk of developmental delay may receive a multidisciplinary evaluation to determine eligibility for WV Birth to Three services under Part C IDEA. The assessment also helps to identify the needs of the child and family.

For more information, call 304-558-5388.

— Email: wholdren@register-herald.com and follow on Twitter @WendyHoldren