Task force seeks new laws for pregnant drug users - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Task force seeks new laws for pregnant drug users

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Indiana medical and legal experts are urging lawmakers to pass new regulations to reduce the number of babies born with drug addictions.

Studies show the number of newborns with opiate drug withdrawal has more than tripled over the last decade. Natalie Robinson of the Indiana attorney general's office says the problem has reached epidemic levels.

Babies born addicted to drugs like cocaine, marijuana, Vicodin and barbiturates suffer neonatal abstinence syndrome. They're given morphine and kept in the hospital until they are weaned off the drugs.

Withdrawal can make the infants fussy and cause diarrhea, rashes, vomiting and seizures.

Pediatrician Teri Schulz-Compton tells The Herald Bulletin that the state needs to provide more education and better mental health services for pregnant women who take medications or illegal drugs.

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