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      Innocent Addicts: Infants battling withdrawal Part 2

      All infants sometimes cry for the things they cannot have.

      For some infants, it's opiates, the drugs they have been addicted to since conception. Opiates are prescription pain killers, such as Oxycotin and Vicadin.

      The scary part is some pregnant women take these painkillers that are prescribed to them for legitimate reasons, and they accidentally get their unborn babies addicted to the medications.

      In order to treat the babies, the Marquette General Hospital Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit must ween them off of the drugs.

      "We start them on a medication called Methadone; sometimes we incorporate Fenobarbital if the mom has been on some kind of anti-depressant drugs during her pregnancy. Then they are treated with that for several days before we even consider weening," said Kelly Kurin, a Neonatal Nurse Practitioner in the NICU at Marquette General Hospital.

      Morgan, who is learning about the NICU as part of her Health Occupation class, recalls a particular baby going through withdrawal who she held.

      "We tried to put him back down in the crib, and he cried. So we had to take him back and hold him again so he would stop, and you just have to hold them tight, give him some love, and hold him so that he would be more content," said Morgan McAuliffe, a Marquette Senior High School senior.

      Fortunately, there are plenty of programs and services offered at MGH and around the U.P. for pregnant women and new mothers to get help with addiction.

      "Some of the babies that come in here, the mothers want to get help and they do get help. We have services to offer here. Unfortunately, some of the moms aren't able to want help or to get help, so the babies do go home to very nice foster families and are well taken care of," said Melissa Anderson, a Registered Nurse at Marquette General Hospital.

      For a list of programs offered, click here.