New figures have revealed that almost 1400 babies in Scotland have been born dependent on substances since 2017.

Data recording the number of newborns showing signs of drug dependency was obtained through a freedom of information (FOI) request by the Scottish Liberal Democrats, whose health spokesperson has said the Scottish Government must “shoulder some of the blame”.

At least 1363 babies were born with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), which is caused by drugs taken by a mother during pregnancy passing to her foetal blood stream, over the period.

Annual figures have not reached a high of 243 babies born with NAS since 2017/18, and figures have fluctuated since then.

However, the rate was on the increase over the last year, with 195 babies born showing signs of drug dependency in the year 2023/24 compared to 186 in 2022/23.

The health board which has registered the most cases since 2017 is NHS Lothian with 692, a figure four times greater than the board with the second highest rate which was NHS Grampian.

Want to see more SNP fails? – Health Matters

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