Born High: Florida battles rising cases of addicted newborns
Florida's collective addiction to painkillers and drugs like heroin continues to take a toll on the state's most vulnerable victims: newborn babies.
The number of children born physically dependent on drugs — particularly opioids like methadone, heroin and oxycodone — have nearly doubled since 2010, despite continuing public awareness campaigns and a state effort to mitigate the problem, newly obtained hospital records show.
Such newborns commonly need weeks or months of extra hospital care immediately after delivery. This can add tens of thousands of dollars to medical bills, often shouldered by the taxpayer-supported Medicaid program, and exact a heavy emotional toll on families.