Posted Monday, April 30, 2012 --- 4:00 p.m.
CHICAGO (AP) -- The number of U.S. babies born with signs of opiate drug withdrawal has tripled over a decade.
That's according to a new study that also shows a surge in pregnant women's use of illegal narcotics and powerful prescription painkillers.
It's the first national study examining the growing abuse of painkillers like Oxycontin, Vicodin and other drugs. The researchers estimate that more than 13,000 infants were born struggling with withdrawal in 2009.
Scientists are studying whether these babies face any long-term problems.
The study was released online Monday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.