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High rate of babies addicted at birth in West Virginia’s Northern Panhandle


The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register

WHEELING, W.Va.  — A higher-than-average percentage of infants from Marshall, Ohio and Wetzel counties were drug dependent at birth last year.

Local health officials cannot explain precisely why Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome is prevalent in the three counties, but they point to community-wide efforts to prevent future cases.

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources has released data for 2017 on babies born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome in 28 counties. State officials said figures for the 27 other counties were suppressed because of low occurrence and the need to protect confidentiality.

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