Specific Purpose of Speech: to encourage my peers to sign up to volunteer with families affected by Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome
– Statistic: In 2014, 1,875 babies were born addicted to opioids in Ohio alone, and the number has been on the rise ever since, following the trend of the opioid epidemic (AthenaInsight).
– Reason for listening: Not only does NAS affect the families with a loved one affected by NAS, but it also affects all tax payers. The average length of NICU stay for a baby born with NAS is on average 26 days, costing the healthcare system on average $56 thousand dollars per baby (AthenaInsight)
– Credibility: After in depth research for the explanatory paper, I did additional research on the ways to combat NAS.
– Overview: I believe there are many ways that a college student can help combat NAS and I would like to present you different opportunities for you to get involved.
– The rate of NAS births has increased substantially over the past few years, following the trend of the opioid addiction. I hope to help change the number of babies and families that are affected with NAS.
– Story of family friend born (and adopted) with NAS and how volunteers made an impact in her recovery.
Because of the way my family friend, along with many other infants born with NAS, were aided through the recovery process from the help of volunteers, I believe that the first step to combating this disease is through the help of volunteers. There are many opportunities for volunteering in this process.
Main Idea 1:
– Solution: Volunteering in the NICU of a local hospital
– Explanation: Many babies in the NICU for treatment of NAS are born very irritable and they need a lot of attention. Volunteers in the NICU can help feed and rock the infants. Infants are also swaddled to promote comfort and healing. Swaddling helps to decrease the clinical symptoms and limit the need for pharmaceuticals (NCBI).
– Supporting material: pictures of volunteers? Get a volunteer’s statement (CHECK UD LIBRARY)
While NICU volunteers do help the healing process of newborns suffering with NAS, the work does not combat the problem itself. The problem stems from pregnant mothers misusing and abusing opioids and other forms of drugs, so what if volunteers focus their efforts at the root of the problem.
Main Idea 2:
– Solution: Volunteers can help in women’s shelters located within their community
– A child can be diagnosed with NAS until they are done breastfeeding. Narcotics and other forms of drugs can be transferred through the child in breast milk. It is important that breast feeding mothers stay clean during the time their child is breast feeding.
– Helping to educate the mothers can not only help to prevent their children from being born with NAS, but it can save the healthcare system millions of dollars every year.
– Supporting material: statistic, or graph about the number of mothers diagnosed as drug dependent during their pregnancy.
I truly believe if we want to see a decreasing rate of NAS births that we should try to educate mothers first, to stop the problems before they occur. Programs should be started to help educate the mothers.
Main Idea 3:
– Specific Example: Miami Valley Hospital’s Promise to Hope Program
– MVH offers a support program for mother’s during their pregnancy, and after their children are born.
– They provide transportation to doctor’s visits, information meetings, and support groups.
– Programs like these should be developed across the nation to increase the education of mothers about how their decisions can affect the health of their child and can, in the long term, cost them thousands of dollars through the course of the child’s life combatting problems that started from their drug addiction.
There are many ways that students and adults can help the trend of babies born with NAS.
Summary: IN CONCLUSION, students can volunteer in NICUs to help wean babies off of the opioids they were introduced to in the womb. Other options for volunteering include working with pregnant mothers and educated them about the choices they are making and how her and her child’s health would benefit from going through rehab.
Thesis: Volunteering with drug dependent mothers and babies diagnosed with NAS can help to combat the increase of NAS births in not only Ohio but the nation.
Specific Action: I challenge you to get involved in your community, one that is heavily influenced by the opioid epidemic, and join me in fighting the numbers and helping to decrease the rate of NAS births.
Benefit: I cannot do it alone, but with the help of many volunteers, we can make a difference in the lives of children and families affected by NAS. For anyone applying to medical school or other post undergraduate programs that require volunteer work, this is a great opportunity to get involved in your community and start getting volunteer hours.
Call to Action: Display links to volunteer applications at Dayton Children’s and Miami Valley.
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