Ohio program to help drug-addicted babies, mothers

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio is starting a new program to help babies who are born addicted to drugs.

It’s the latest effort by officials to address prescription drug abuse and opiate addiction in the state. Overdose drug deaths have surpassed car crashes as the leading cause of accidental death in Ohio.

About 200 mothers and babies are expected to get treatment and intervention through the $4.2 million program.

Caring for the drug-addicted newborns and mothers, who are often on Medicaid, can be costly to the system. Babies can often experience drug withdrawal, respiratory complications, feeding difficulties and sometimes seizures.

Gov. John Kasich’s (KAY’-siks) administration says the three-year project is estimated to reduce infant hospital stays by 30 percent.

The state will pick two or three providers for the project, which starts next year.

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