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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Florida Task Force for Pregnant Addicts

Every day, babies are born with narcotics in their systems as a result of the overwhelming number of pregnant women who continue to use prescription pain medication throughout the pregnancy. This is a major problem especially in states like Florida, which has quickly become the epicenter of prescription drug abuse in this country.

In Duval County, Florida, 113 babies were born with neonatal withdrawal syndrome in 2010, but unfortunately a mere 13 treatment beds were available.

Babies suffering from withdrawal symptoms experience:

  • shaking
  • inconsolable crying
  • skin rashes
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
In response to this ever growing problem, legislators, doctors, and public health advocates in the state of Florida has been created to form a set of recommendations to reduce the number of newborns exposed to opioids. Created by Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, the task force is responsible for defining the severity of the problem and coming up with solutions to the issue.

Some of the recommendations include a proposed $22 million for more residential treatment services and substance abuse intervention; as well as a campaign to educate women regarding the dangers of using prescription drugs while pregnant. The campaign will aim at educating medical professionals and create new legislations protecting women seeking treatment. The new legislation may include barring child welfare services from automatically taking away a baby from a woman as long as she seeks treatment for an addiction to prescription drugs.

The group’s recommendations are likely to be adopted in January, according to the Sun-Sentinel.
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