Maine Governor Paul R. LePage this week said the births of 927 babies born to mothers addicted to drugs last year in the state is a “troubling epidemic.” The babies represented more than 7 percent of all births in the state, The New York Times reports.
In his State of the State address, Governor LePage said the babies create “a lifelong challenge for our health care system, schools and social services.” He added, “It is unacceptable to me that a baby should be born affected by drugs.” He urged legislators to add four special drug prosecutors and four judges to sit in enhanced courts, and to add 14 agents to the state’s Drug Enforcement Agency. He did not mention a role for treatment, the article notes.
“We must hunt down dealers and get them off the streets,” Mr. LePage said. “We must protect our citizens from drug-related crimes and violence. We must save our babies from lifelong suffering.”