WATE 6 On Your Side wears pearls, bowties to bring awareness to Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — WATE 6 On Your Side is joining the Metro Drug Coalition to help bring awareness for Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS).

The WATE team will be wearing pearls and bowties Friday for babies with NAS.

The condition occurs in newborns from prenatal exposure to prescription opioids or heroin. The babies are born drug-dependent and go through withdrawal. NAS can happen within hours to weeks of birth.

The rates of NAS are alarming due to the rapid increase in opioid use in the United States and across Tennessee over the last decade. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 86 percent of pregnancies are unintended among women who abuse opioids.

Symptoms of NAS can include hyperactivity of the central and automatic nervous systems, uncoordinated sucking reflexes leading to poor feeding, increased irritability and high-pitched crying.

For more information on NAS, visit BornDrugFreeTN.com. Wear your pearls and bowties this Friday, October 6 to raise awareness for this preventable disease. Share your support on social media using #NASMONTHTN.

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