Neonatal abstinence syndrome: assessment and management

Addict Dis. 1975;2(1-2):141-58.


A scoring system for the neonatal abstinence syndrome has been devised and implemented as both a clinical and investigative tool. The score monitors the passively addicted infant in a more comprehensive and objective fashion, and facilitates a more precise evaluation of the clinical status of the infant undergoing withdrawal. In addition, the scoring system has been applied in research designed to test the comparative usefulness of various pharmacologic agents currently recommended for the neonatal abstinence syndrome, and has been found useful in following the progression and diminution of withdrawal symptomatology before, during, and after therapy. Furthermore, the scoring system provides a basis ofr developing uniform criteria for the assessment and treatment of the neonate born to the addicted mother.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Antidiarrheals / administration & dosage
  • Central Nervous System / drug effects
  • Diazepam / administration & dosage
  • Diazepam / therapeutic use
  • Digestive System / drug effects
  • Female
  • Heroin Dependence / complications*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Newborn, Diseases / diagnosis
  • Infant, Newborn, Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Infant, Newborn, Diseases / etiology
  • Injections, Intramuscular
  • Opium / therapeutic use
  • Phenobarbital / administration & dosage
  • Phenobarbital / therapeutic use
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications*
  • Psychometrics*
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / etiology
  • Sucking Behavior / drug effects


  • Antidiarrheals
  • Opium
  • Diazepam
  • Phenobarbital