According to the Tennessee Department of Health, 991 babies were born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) in Tennessee in 2016. NAS occurs when pregnant women take prescription medications or other drugs, and their baby is born drug-dependent. The withdrawal symptoms include fever, seizures, continuous crying, rapid breathing, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound.
October is NAS Awareness Month. Last year, Metro Drug Coalition (MDC) created Pearls and Bowties for Babies, a social media awareness campaign for NAS. MDC is promoting Pearls and Bowties for Babies as a statewide campaign this year. Once again, the public is encouraged to wear pearls and bowties on October 6th to raise awareness about Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome in their community.
On October 6, don’t forget to post pictures and spread the word by using captions such as, “A baby’s life shouldn’t begin with detox. I’m wearing my pearls/bowtie today to support NAS awareness in TN. #NASMonthTN” Encourage friends, family, and co-workers to participate and join the effort to end substance abuse in Tennessee.
Pack the Crib
Join MDC as we Pack the Crib to benefit our Hands of Hope Program during NAS Awareness Month. Hands of Hope is a comprehensive one-on-one mentoring program developed by MDC for new mothers (mentees) in addiction treatment and/or recovery. The mentees will be matched with other mothers (mentors), who are stable in their recovery journey, to help them navigate the challenges of maintaining sobriety while parenting a Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) or drug-exposed baby.
When a mentee enters the program, she receives a Baby Bundle with essentials needed for both her and baby. As we Pack the Crib in October, all items will benefit our baby bundles needed for the program. Please see the drop off dates and items needed on the flyer below. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to reach out to our program director Courtney Niemann at firstname.lastname@example.org.