Drug addiction among pregnant women in Western New York

Posted at 5:48 PM, Nov 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-20 17:48:19-05

Since 2005, the number of babies born in Erie County addicted to opioids has quadrupled. 

Erie County is now fighting this in a big way. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health awarded the county $300,000. Erie County is one of 20 communities nationwide to receive this grant. 

The money will train community clinics on how to screen, intervene, and treat pregnant women who are using at their own practices. 

The effects opioids have on newborns can be serve. The impact can range from low birth weight to breathing problems. This is known as neonatal abstinence syndrome. 

"NAS is a growing problem in the United States, but NAS is preventable if women struggling with opioid use receive proper care and treatment before or during pregnancy," Erie County Health Commissioner, Dr. Gale Burstein said.