Caring for a Child With Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS)

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Knowing how to care for child who is suffering from the effects of withdrawal from drugs can be frightening, confusing, or overwhelming. These little ones suffer from Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) and will likely need to spend some time in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) before they can go home with a caregiver.
Babies born addicted to substances start to experience withdrawal within a day or two of being born. They will have some very specific symptoms, but the combination of medication and medical care, along with some tips for at-home care, can get you, and the newborn, through those first weeks and months of life.
This tip sheet includes an overview of NAS symptoms, tips that may help in the first few days, and links to resources for further details and information.

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Author: Wisconsin Family Connections Center
Additional Author: Coalition for Children, Youth & Families
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