Florida Officials Want to Protect Babies of Women Addicted to Prescription Drugs

Florida officials met with health care executives last week to discuss how to protect babies born to women addicted to prescription drugs. An estimated 1,300 babies were treated for drug withdrawal in Florida in 2010, a 30 percent jump from the previous year.

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi said that many pregnant women do not realize the dangers that drugs such as oxycodone and Xanax pose to their unborn babies, The Miami Herald reports. She and Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolos met with officials from BayCare Health System to discuss the issue and possible solutions.

Bondi said she would work with St. Joseph’s Women’s Hospital in Tampa to start a national task force designed to educate women about the dangers of prescription drugs. The article notes that prescription drugs can cause symptoms in babies including stiff limbs, tremors, vomiting and diarrhea. Babies born addicted to prescription drugs can spend up to 30 days in a neonatal intensive care unit getting weaned off the drug.

According to the article, some women addicted to prescription drugs are treated with methadone during pregnancy to reduce or eliminate craving for other drugs.

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    Maria Sharapova

    May 26, 2011 at 3:19 PM

    Prescription drug addiction such as the Psychological- and/or Chemical Dependence on pharmaceuticals has become an increasingly escalating problem among people within all classes of society. According to statistics that were recently published on the internet, we may conclude that prescription drug addiction is increasingly exceeding other known addictions such as the consumption of alcoholic beverages, and the frequent abuse of illegal class I controlled substances.

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    Sandra Streifel

    May 20, 2011 at 5:00 PM

    Many of the attributes of “drug babies” of various kinds casually reported over the last few decades have also been common to babies born to mothers in extreme poverty and who had poor to no prenatal care. As a women’s advocate, mom, and recovering alcoholic, I can heartily agree with Dr. Gazaway that when the system talks about protecting babies, nothing good will result for families, or for the baby. Another good reason to encourage breastfeeding, too!

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    Chris Kelly

    May 20, 2011 at 3:44 PM

    Great comments, all!! Like Dr. Coulter posted, alcohol and tobacco are much bigger problems. Neonatal abstinence syndrome is easily managed, and every expectant mother who is has an opiate use problem should be prescribed methadone or buprenorphine. This is not rocket science, this has been going on since humans first walked the earth. Breastfeeding provides a “natural weaning process”.

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