Babies are being born every day in Florida addicted to prescription pain pills. While their mothers are struggling to beat their addiction to drugs like oxycodone, their newborns are struggling with withdrawal from the powerful drugs in the neonatal intensive care units of hospitals across the state.
“Opiate addicted babies are really having a full withdrawal just like any narcotic addicted person,” said Dr. Jonathan Wispe, a neonatalogist at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.
There has been a startling 700 percent increase in babies born in Florida addicted to pain pills, and the problem shows no signs of ending anytime soon.
“It crosses all spectrums. Stay at home moms, professionals, teachers, nurses, doctors,” said Michelle Waddell, a neonatal nurse and the Director of Neonatal Services of the Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida. “In all my years of NICU nursing, it’s probably one of the most painful things that I’ve had to sit back and watch.”