Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi released the Final Report of her Statewide Task Force on Prescription Drug Abuse and Newborns. The report contains 15 recommendations for prevention, intervention, best practices and treatment for protecting babies from prescription drug abuse.
The Statewide Task Force on Prescription Drug Abuse and Newborns, which includes representatives from Healthy Start and the March of Dimes, was created in 2012 because of the increasingly high rate of babies born dependent on prescription pain pills in Florida.
Northeast Florida experiences the highest rate throughout the state. In 2010, nearly nine out of every 1,000 babies born in Jacksonville and the four surrounding counties experienced newborn withdrawal, compared to six out of every 1,000 statewide.
With these recommendations, the task force hopes to prevent and drastically reduce the numbers of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome.
As a partner, the Florida Association of Healthy Start Coalitions will play a large role in helping carry out the initiatives listed in the report. Since 2009, FAHSC has worked with doctors, hospitals and organizations like the March of Dimes and the Florida Health Department, to create public awareness to the issue of mothers abusing prescription drugs and drug exposed newborns.