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.