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Scioto leads Ohio in drug-addicted births

Associated Press Published: October 17, 2016 4:00 AM

PORTSMOUTH -- A recent report from the Children's Defense Fund has found that Scioto County in south-central Ohio has the highest birth rate of drug-addicted babies in the state.

The study says that for every 1,000 live births in Scioto County, 76 are born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, a condition caused by mothers who use drugs while pregnant. Symptoms of NAS include low birth weight, seizures, excessive crying and breathing problems. It can take week and even months for an infant to fully recover.

The Portsmouth Daily Times has reported that infants born in Ohio's Appalachian region are nearly twice as likely to be diagnosed with NAS as the state average for such diagnoses. Of the 10 counties with the highest rates of NAS in Ohio, nine are in Appalachia.

"We're running about 12 to 13 percent of our babies testing positive at birth for some kind of substance that is either illegal or illegally obtained," said June Stone, nurse manager for the maternity department at Southern Ohio Medical Center in Portsmouth. "We have the same rate of positivity for our moms."

The second highest rate in Ohio is Lawrence County with 68 drug-addicted babies for every 1,000 live births and Pike County with 58 per 1,000 live births.

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The Children's Defense Fund examined the role of socio-economic conditions on the number of drug-addicted babies born in the state. Pike County has Ohio's highest child poverty rate of 36 percent. Scioto County's child poverty rate is 31 percent.

The number of drug-addicted babies born in Ohio was four times higher during the five-year period from 2009 to 2013 than it was during the period between 2004 and 2008, the study found.

A recent report from the Children's Defense Fund has found that Scioto County in south-central Ohio has the highest birth rate of drug-addicted babies in the state.

The study says 76 babies in every 1,000 live births in Scioto County are born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome.

The Portsmouth Daily Times reports (http://bit.ly/2d3z6Vz ) infants born in Ohio's Appalachian region are nearly twice as likely to be diagnosed with NAS compared with the state average.

A nurse manager in Southern Ohio Medical Center's maternity department says about 12 to 13 percent of babies born each year at the hospital have tested positive for an illegal substance.

Just behind Scioto County is Lawrence County with 67 drug-addicted babies in 1,000 live births and Pike County at 58 per 1,000 live births.

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Information from: Portsmouth Daily Times, http://www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com


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