Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital

Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Clinic

The Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) Follow-Up Clinic at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital treats babies born at 35 or more weeks of gestation who have been exposed to certain types of medicines or drugs in utero.

NAS is a condition that occurs when a mother becomes pregnant while using opioids or other addictive drugs. The infant may begin to experience symptoms of withdrawal once they are born and are no longer receiving the opioids or drugs, causing a variety of symptoms such as tremors, irritability, weight loss and in rare cases, seizures. Newborns may require pharmacological treatment, which may include small doses of a drug in the same family as what the mother took throughout pregnancy.

New Solutions To National Issue

More than 4,200 Florida newborns were born to mothers using opioids in 2016, a dramatic increase of more than 1,700 over 2015, according to the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration. On average, Johns Hopkins All Children’s treats 100 newborns with NAS every year. Newborns with NAS need to be held and comforted constantly to ease their symptoms. The optimal environment is a quiet, dark place, away from bright lights and loud noises. Johns Hopkins All Children’s adapted these principles by creating a quiet physical space in the NICU for these babies and training a team of nurses to provide non-pharmacological comforting measures around the clock.

Symptoms of Withdrawal

  • Tremors

  • High-pitched crying

  • Difficulty consoling or falling asleep

  • Yawning, sweating, sneezing or high temperature

  • Difficulty eating or watery stools​

What to Expect

Your baby will be seen by a pediatrician or nurse practitioner, occupational therapist, neurodevelopmental psychologist and a feeding specialist trained to take care of babies and toddlers. These therapists can identify any difficulties your baby may have and assist with providing therapy.

A follow-up appointment will be made for you within two weeks of your baby’s discharge. The medical team will provide developmental follow-up and education for you and your baby at three, six, nine, eighteen and thirty months of age.

At twelve months of age, your baby will be scheduled for an appointment with our pediatic neuropsychologist for a neurodevelopmental evaluation and will be seen annually until the age of five.

These appointments do not replace your pediatrician appointments, but offer specialized services for your baby for their diagnosis of NAS.

Questions? Give us a call

We know that you want the best possible care for your child. Our team is happy to assist you with your questions.

Our Location

Our clinic is located at Johns Hopkins All Children's, Outpatient Care Center on the 2nd floor.


Read inspirational stories about our NAS Follow-Up Clinic: 

Confronting the Challenge of Those Born into Addiction

Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital is changing the landscape for newborns with neonatal abstinence syndrome.

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Healthy Families Start with Mom: A Woman’s Journey 2018

85 percent of women make the health care decisions in households in the United States, and that is why Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital joins forces each year with Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore for A Woman’s Journey. The annual three-day women’s health event empowers women to take their health into their own hands, because healthy families start with mom.

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Maternal, Fetal & Neonatal Institute at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital

Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital is designated a Regional Perinatal Intensive Care Center (RPICC) by Florida’s Children’s Medical Services (CMS), providing high-risk obstetrical care and neonatal intensive care to all patients regardless of financial needs.