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Drugs: Babies

Volume 473: debated on Thursday 13 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many babies were born with an addiction to a class A drug in each of the last five years for which figures are available. (193636)

We do not hold this information centrally but the following table gives details of babies born with addictions to any substance. The figures are from the Hospital Episodes Statistics (HES) and are based on the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) ICD-10 codes for identification of conditions. (ICD is the WHO’s system for identifying conditions. ICD-10 is the tenth (and current) version.

Finished consultant episodes for ICD-10 code P96.1

2006-07

1,162

2005-06

1,183

2004-05

1,160

2003-04

1,127

2002-03

1,031

There are no specific codes in ICD-10 that identify babies born with class A drug addiction. ICD-10 code P96.1 (neonatal withdrawal symptoms from maternal use of drugs of addiction) indicates withdrawal symptoms due to maternal use of drugs of addiction. The fact that the neonate is in withdrawal indicates that they were born addicted to a drug. However, it is not limited to class A drug addiction. The P96.1 code includes neonatal addiction as a result of maternal use of class A drugs but also includes maternal addiction to any drug, for example cannabis or analgesics.