Local state rep. authors bill to help babies born addicted to dr - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Local state rep. authors bill to help babies born addicted to drugs

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A local state senator is targeting the growing problem of babies who are born addicted to drugs. 

Indiana health officials estimate 300 babies are born addicted to either prescription or illicit drugs each year. The problem is, that number is just an estimate. Experts tells us they need more solid data before they can start to solve the problem.

Senate Bill 408, authored by local representative Vaneta Becker, aims to help identify babies born addicted to drugs and form solutions to eliminate the problem.

The babies can be born addicted to prescription pain killers that the mother has been prescribed or illegal drugs like opiates and heroine.

Doctors identify the infants with the syndrome when they notice symptoms of withdraw, babies who refuse to eat, and those who experience tremors and even seizures. 

"We don't have a clear, consistent definition that is used throughout the state that is used by most physicians," said Dr. Maria Delrio Hoover, St. Mary's Health System. "So the data we have right now is not consistent and is not accurate. The bill would allow us for more accurate data so we can identify the extent of the problem and then recommend what solutions or services we need," she said.

Dr. Hoover says some of the solutions involve creating awareness in the community, identifying at risk babies and educating mothers.

The bill passed the Senate after an amendment was added and now goes to the full House for a vote.

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