Florida's problem with prescription drug abuse is nothing new. What is new is a statewide initiative to tackle the issue of newborns addicted to prescription drugs.
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi , the Department of Children and Families, the Department of Health and members from the Statewide Task Force on Prescription Drug Abuse and Newborns introduced the Born Drug Free Florida campaign today. Their motto: A Babies Life shouldn't begin with Detox.
Seven out of every 1,000 babies born in the state suffer from NAS or Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome. Bondi said she had no idea of the scope of the problem until she was contact by the St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa.
"I came down and sadly got to meet one of these babies, and see one of these babies. And it changes your life" Bondi said. "And let me stress, this is not about taking babies away from their mother its about keeping them together, and that is why we are doing this."
The initiative will focus on the scope of the problem, the health care costs of addicted newborns, long-term effects and prevention strategies. The organization's first steps will involve a statewide public service announcement and billboard campaign.
Bondi says she wants to make Florida the model for the rest of the Nation in the battle against prescription drug abuse. To learn more about the campaign you can go online to BornDrugFreeFL.com.