Even though pharmacological therapy is a standard treatment for infants with neonatal abstinence syndrome, opioids can cause long term developmental delays. Music therapists working in the neonatal intensive care unit have been studying various interventions to assess the effectiveness of music therapy on the withdrawal symptoms in infant with NAS. A clinical quality improvement pilot study was recently conducted at Norton Healthcare in Louisville, KY in which the Pacifier Activated Lullaby (PAL) was used 3-4 times a week with infants diagnosed with NAS that scored a Finnegan score of 8 or higher while the control group received standard care using a standard pacifier. Results indicated a significant decrease in Finnegan scores for infants receiving the PAL treatment. This study is currently being expanded into a multi-site study and is the first experimental study of its kind to be published. Please check out this ground breaking study by using the reference below.
Detmer M. R., Deloach D., Forbes K. D., & Gossom R. (2017). The effect of NICU music therapy on the symptoms of infants with neonatal abstinence syndrome. Imagine, 5(1), 54-58.