Two U.S. senators are asking the federal government to address the growing problem of drug-dependent newborns, Reuters reports. They say thousands of infants are born each year to mothers who used opioids during pregnancy.
Senator Robert Casey of Pennsylvania called for hearings on why a federal law that directs states to protect drug-dependent newborns is not being enforced. Senator Charles Schumer of New York wants the Obama Administration to increase funding to help drug-dependent babies.
An investigation by Reuters found 110 babies and toddlers whose mothers used opioids during pregnancies and who died under preventable circumstances. In each case, the babies recovered enough to be discharged from the hospital, but were sent home to families not equipped to care for them.