Ohio’s Drug-Dependent Babies Up 750 Percent Since 2004

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – A recent report from the Ohio Department of Health shows the state has seen a 750 percent increase in the number of babies diagnosed with neonatal abstinence syndrome since 2004.

The report says there was an average of five drug-dependent babies admitted to Ohio hospitals each day in 2013.

While the number of addicted infants is on the rise, the average hospital stay for drug-dependent babies has dropped from 20 days in 2008 to just under 15 days in 2013.

Officials say the overall increase in heroin and prescription drug abuse is responsible for the rise. The report states there has been an 841 percent increase in the number of delivering mothers diagnosed with an opioid addiction.