Public Health Spotlight: Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) – Georgia Notifiable Condition

A letter from DPH Commissioner Brenda Fitzgerald, MD:

December 15, 2015

Dear Provider,

Please note that effective January 1, 2016, Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) surveillance will be
added to the list of conditions that are notifiable by law to the Georgia Department of Public Health.
The list of reportable conditions can be found using this link: dph.georgia .gov/disease-reporting.

NAS is a condition that results from the abrupt discontinuation of chronic fetal exposure to substances
that were used or abused by the mother during pregnancy. Having NAS on the list of notifiable
conditions provides the opportunity to:

1. Assess the incidence of NAS in Georgia and trends over time
2. Identify opportunities for timely intervention and education
3. Better characterize risk factors for NAS in Georgia
4. Assess capacity to address maternal addiction and provide multidisciplinary care for the
child/family affected by substance abuse

Criteria for reporting NAS will include at least one of the following: a baby born to a mother with a
history of substance abuse during pregnancy, a newborn with withdrawal symptoms and/or a newborn
with a positive drug screen. Reports should be submitted within 7 days of identification. Cases can be
reported electronically through our secure web based State Electronic Notifiable Disease Surveillance
System (SendSS) at As with all notifiable disease data reported to our Department,
data regarding NAS will remain confidential in accordance with Georgia law, Code Sections 31-2-12 and
31-5-5. Frequently asked questions (FAQs) related to NAS can be found at:

Thank you for working with us to protect the lives of Georgia’s mothers and children. Should you have
any questions please contact the Maternal and Child Section in the Georgia Department of Public Health
at 404-657-2850.


Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D.