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Tennessee Department of Health says information now available to Health Care Providers and Patients about new State Laws related to Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome

Tennessee Department of Health - TDOHNashville, TN – The Tennessee Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Subcabinet is providing useful information to health care providers and patients about recent changes to state laws and rules related to babies that are born dependent on drugs.

Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, or NAS, occurs when a baby receives certain drugs, primarily narcotics, through the umbilical cord and is abruptly cut off from that supply at birth and then experiences a variety of withdrawal symptoms.

In 2013, NAS affected 921 newborns in Tennessee, and that number is expected to be higher at the end of this year based on a comparison of monthly data with current trends.

Frequently asked questions and answers about NAS can be found on the Tennessee Department of Health website.

The information includes details about Public Chapter 820, the Safe Harbor Act, reporting requirements and specific actions healthcare providers may take to help reduce NAS.

The NAS Subcabinet was formed in 2012 by Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam to bring together experts from different areas of state government to work collaboratively to reduce NAS births in Tennessee.

Subcabinet members include commissioners and staff from the departments of Health, Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, Children’s Services, Human Services, Safety and Homeland Security, TennCare and the Children’s Cabinet.


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