Babies being born addicted to painkillers

June 28, 2012 at 11:48 PM
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BUFFALO, N.Y., June 28 (UPI) -- Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said he will propose legislation to address an epidemic of babies being born addicted to prescription pain killers.

Schumer, after a visit this month to a Buffalo, N.Y., hospital, said Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome was unheard of in the U.S. medical community 10 years ago, but there is an epidemic of such cases now.

"All you need to do is see a newborn baby suffering through what amounts to drug withdrawal to understand how heartbreaking and tragic the issue is," Schumer told WBFO-AM, Buffalo. "A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found the number of beautiful little babies born addicted to prescription drugs, specifically opioids such as oxycodone, nearly tripled in the last decade. Of a thousand infants born in 2009, 3.4 per were addicted to painkillers. That's a horrible statistic."

Babies born addicted to prescriptions painkillers suffer from uncontrolled shaking, non-stop crying and constant diarrhea, the study said.

Schumer said he will call on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to provide labels that clearly describe any potential dangers of the medication.

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