Alarming Growth in KY of Drug-Addicted Newborns
LOUISVILLE, KY - The number of newborns hospitalized for drug addiction has soared in Kentucky over the last decade.
Many of the tiny babies are victims of the prescription pill epidemic in Kentucky. In this state, hospitalizations for addicted newborns climbed from 29 in 2000 to 730 last year.
The Courier-Journal reports that the rate has increased to the point that on one day in August at the University of Louisville's neonatal intensive care unit, more than half the babies were suffering from drug withdrawal.
Audrey Tayse Haynes, secretary of the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, calls it a "silent epidemic" in Kentucky.
State officials and doctors say the hospitalization statistics include newborn withdrawals from all types of drugs, but they blame prescription pills for the dramatic increase.