Gee, this isn't the cheeriest series of posts so close to Christmas. But Trump is on the way to the White House and the sense of doom is palpable.
Anyhow, here's one surprising sign of societal problems in rural America:
Roughly 1 out of every 130 babies in rural America are born dependent on drugs, according to a study published Monday.
The report, published in JAMA Pediatrics, shows a dramatic increase in neonatal abstinence syndrome – when a newborn baby is dependent on drugs and goes through withdrawal after birth – in rural areas between 2004 and 2013. In just a decade, the number of rural newborns suffering from chemical dependency skyrocketed from 1.2 per every 1,000 hospital births to 7.5 per 1,000.
While previous research has suggested an increase in neonatal abstinence syndrome in certain areas, the findings published Monday are the first to show just how widespread of a problem newborn drug dependency is across rural America, fueled by an increase in opioid use among women of all social classes and insufficient resources in far-flung areas to treat drug addiction.