Ohio will launch a program next year to help babies who are born addicted to drugs.
It's the latest effort by officials to address prescription drug abuse and opiate addiction. Overdose drug deaths have surpassed car crashes as the leading cause of accidental death in Ohio. 200 mothers and babies are expected to get treatment and intervention through the 4.2 million dollar program. Caring for the drug-addicted newborns and mothers, who are often on Medicaid, can be costly to the system. Babies often experience drug withdrawal, respiratory complications, feeding difficulties and sometimes seizures. State officials estimate the three-year program will reduce infant hospital stays by 30 percent.