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Politics


Ohio extends the battle against drug addiction to babies
Ohio Rep. Lynn Wachtmann proposes a bill to do more for infants of drug-addicted mothers
by WKSU's ANDY CHOW


Reporter
Andy Chow
 
Republican Rep.Lynn Wachtmann's bill would require maternal facilities to report all babies born with neonatal abstinence syndrome.
Courtesy of Ohio House of Representatives
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State officials want to do more for infants born with health problems from drug-addicted mothers. Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow spoke with one representative, who says collecting the data must be the first plan of action.

LISTEN: Lynn Wachtmann on requiring hospitals to report signs of drug abuse.

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In the battle against addiction, statistics can be vital in better understanding what you’re dealing with. That’s according to Republican Rep.e Lynn Wachtmann. His new bill requires facilities to report all babies born with neonatal abstinence syndrome, a condition with many symptoms in infants exposed to addictive drugs while in the womb. 

Reporting these cases, Wachtmann says, will give the state a better idea of the severity of the problem. Watchmann acknowledges it’s out of character for him to advocate for more regulation, but he says it’s important to make this exception.

“We believe the little bit of effort it will take on behalf of hospitals to report this — (is far outweighed by) the potential good that we can do by measuring ... how many of these babies we do have, how well we’re doing fighting addictions and things related to mothers, pregnant mothers and their babies.”

Wachtmann believes this bill will see a large amount of support from both sides of the aisle, adding that the data could help the state with other issues such as improving the infant mortality rate.

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