Drug Use During Pregnancy a Rising Problem in West Virginia

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CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (AP) -- The number of babies born addicted to drugs and showing withdrawal symptoms in West Virginia has continued to rise.

According to the state Department of Health and Human Resources' West Virginia Families and Children Tracking System, the number of babies born in the state with neonatal abstinence syndrome has risen considerably in recent years.

DHHR spokeswoman Sharon Vealey tells The Exponent Telegram (http://bit.ly/1QI0xPs) that the number went from 21 cases per 1,000 admissions in 2010 to 106 cases in 2014. There have been 79 confirmed cases so far this year.

Neonatal abstinence syndrome occurs when a woman uses drugs during her pregnancy. United Hospital Center spokeswoman Lee Ann Romeo says the woman's baby subsequently exhibits withdrawal symptoms when it is born. Romero says these babies may require additional treatment and care.

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Information from: The Exponent Telegram, http://www.theet.com