|March 3, 2014
Media Contact: Jenn Meale
Phone: (850) 245-0150
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla.— Attorney General Pam Bondi today convened the Statewide Task Force on Prescription Drug Abuse and Newborns to discuss and release the Task Force’s 2014 report. The report provides an update on the implementation of the Task Force’s recommendations to combat Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS). NAS refers to a group of medical complications associated with the withdrawal process newborns typically experience after birth if their mothers have abused prescription drugs during pregnancy.
“We must do everything in our power to protect the most vulnerable victims of prescription drug abuse—babies whose mothers abuse drugs while pregnant,” said Attorney General Pam Bondi. “Today’s report shows that in Florida we are taking the necessary steps toward protecting babies from Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome.”
Several of the recommendations that have already been implemented include:
· Launching a statewide public awareness campaign;
· Establishing a help line for expectant mothers;
· Increasing use of Florida’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Database;
· Assisting families with adopting drug-exposed babies; and
· Increasing hospital beds for expectant mothers in need of behavioral health treatment.
To access the Statewide Task Force on Prescription Drug Abuse and Newborns 2014 report, click here.
The Task Force was developed during the 2012 legislative session and has studied the scope of the problem of prescription drug abuse by expectant mothers, the cost of caring for newborns suffering from NAS, the long term impacts of the disease and prevention strategies.