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Friday, December 20, 2013

Bill Requiring Hospitals Report Opioid Dependent Babies

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Every day there are babies born across the country who have opioids in their bloodstream. Mothers who suffer from the disease of addiction that fail to seek help put their child at risk of dependence before they see the light of day. Ohio Governor John Kasich announced a $4.2 million test program for treating pregnant women addicted to heroin and prescription drugs.

In an attempt to see the impact of addiction education on citizens in the state of Ohio, a bill proposed by a legislator would require hospitals to report the number of opioid-dependent babies born each year, according to The Columbus Dispatch.

“It’s one of the few measurements we will have ongoing for future legislators to see if we’re impacting these addiction issues in a positive, negative or neutral way,” says bill sponsor Representative Lynn Wachtmann. “That’s one of the frustrations I’ve heard time and time again — it’s hard to get good measurements in place so we know how we’re doing.”

The bill is reportedly not for arresting new mothers and the measure specifies that information reported by hospitals could not be passed on to law enforcement.

The Ohio legislature has other bills under review, one requiring hospices to track medications and destroy them when they are not needed anymore. Another bill bans doctors from prescribing opioid addiction treatment drugs unless the patient is also in counseling.
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