Leading the Fight Against Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

Every new baby deserves a healthy start in life

The nationwide epidemic of prescription painkiller abuse has been in the news for several years, and the tragedy of babies born already addicted and starting life with withdrawal symptoms is also well known. Now the State of Florida, which has been at the epicenter of the prescription drug abuse epidemic, has taken significant steps to combat this crisis.

The Statewide Task Force on Prescription Drug Abuse & Newborns, chaired by Attorney General Pam Bondi, examined the extent of prescription drug abuse among expectant mothers, the costs of caring for babies with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) and its long-term effects on their health, and suggested various means of prevention.

The Task Force’s report laid the groundwork for a holistic approach to the problem, with such recommendations as developing a public awareness initiative, encouraging medical professionals to address addiction as a brain disease, providing legal immunity for pregnant women seeking substance abuse treatment, and expanding both residential and intensive outpatient treatment capacity, as well as case management services for women who have completed treatment.

Phoenix House has for years been a leader in addressing the specific needs of women struggling with substance abuse, by providing sensitive, compassionate care in both residential and outpatient settings. In Florida, Phoenix House Citra Center offers gender-specific, trauma-informed residential treatment to help women confront the causes of their addiction and turn to healthier lifestyles. At our Tampa and Brandon Outpatient Centers, we provide evidence-based outpatient services to meet the individual needs of each client. In all of our facilities, we focus on the rehabilitation of both mind and body. Phoenix House has always been on the cutting edge of research involving substance abuse issues and treatment, and will continue to help the people of Florida in striving to prevent Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome.

If someone you love is struggling with addiction to prescription drugs or other substances, please call Phoenix House today at 1 888 671 9392.  We’re here to help.

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