To accomplish the assessment and treatment of abstinence in the infant of the drug dependent mother, a scoring system has been devised for use as a clinical and research tool. The score monitors the passively addicted infant in a more comprehensive and precise way than has previously been described, and permits us to be more objective in our clinical estimates of the abstinence syndrome. Further, this scoring system has been used by relating it to the dosage schedule of phenobarbital or paregoric as part of an ongoing research project designed to test the comparative usefulness of recommended treatments for neonates with abstinence symptoms. It has been found useful also in following the progression or diminution of symptomatology before, during and after drug therapy. Moreover, the scoring system provides a basis for developing uniform criteria for the assessment and treatment of the neonate of the addicted mother.