In my fight against prescription drug abuse, we have sought to protect the most vulnerable victims of this epidemic—babies whose mothers abuse prescription drugs while pregnant. Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome occurs when babies are born suffering from withdrawal symptoms, such as tremors, seizures, abdominal pain, incessant crying, and rapid breathing. In 2013, my office, along with the Department of Children and Families and the Department of Health, launched an initiative to raise awareness and educate expectant mothers on prescription drug abuse. The campaign is called “Born Drug Free Florida.” There is a helpline that expectant mothers who are abusing prescription drugs can call to get the help they need to protect themselves and their babies.
This past week, the “Born Drug Free Florida” hotline merged with the statewide mental health access line, where more services are available through just one number. The new number is 1-800-945-1355. I encourage anyone who has questions or needs help to call this number. To learn more Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome visit BornDrugFreeFL.org.
FL Sees Increase in Calls to Human Trafficking Hotline, Health News Florida
Attorney General Bondi presented a resolution recognizing January as National Human Trafficking Awareness Month.