More and More Babies are Born Drug Addicts in West Virginia

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Recent data shows alarming facts: in West Virginia, the drug addiction among babies is getting more present as time passes. In fact, a study released on Wednesday by the Department of Health and Human Resources show that the infants are born this way due to prenatal drug abuse.

Of course, the information is alarming, especially because West Virginia occupies the first place in the nation’s a shameful chart with the highest rate of babies born dependent on drugs. The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention says that in 2013, here we had 33.4/ 1000 births, whereas the national rate is 5.8.

What are the possible causes for this disturbing situation

Dr. Rahul Gupta, state health officer, declared that the situation could be the result of an increase in the number of prescriptions for drug use. While in some counties the reports have been connected with the irrational abuse of toxic substances, others haven’t declared any baby born an addict. Could it be that they want to keep confidentiality or hide the truth?

Gupta added that as long as they mention the number of kids born with NAS (neonatal abstinence syndrome), the community will figure out who those children are. For that matter, confidentiality is important.

When they realized that the situation isn’t getting any better, state health officials have tried to develop a system for recognizing and monitoring NAS babies, as well as creating the proper environment for their birth. Also, the officials are trying to focus on this problem in the upcoming period, because, given the recent facts, urgent measures are required.

Another important matter is that an increasingly epidemic of drug abuse and a large number of deaths caused by this process have been registered in West Virginia in recent years. Because of this, the state is now facing a child welfare crisis.

As a result, they are the first state which received approval to offer Medicaid coverage for treating babies who are drug dependents. The approval came from the Federal Government, so a center for this matter was created – ”Lily’s Place”.

Patrick Supernaw

Patrick Supernaw is the lead editor for Great Lakes Ledger. Patrick has written for many publications including The Huffington Post and Vanity Fair. Patrick is based in Ottawa and covers issues affecting his city. In addition to his severe hockey addiction, Pat also enjoys kayaking and can often be found paddling the Rideau Canal. Contact Pat here


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