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West Virginia state Sen. Unger to propose earlier childhood education

By JIM McCONVILLE

The Journal

Mark Polak, pediatrics and director of the Neonatal Clinic at the Berkeley Medical Center, treats an infant patient suffering from neonatal abstinence syndrome.
(Journal file photo by Jim McConville)

MARTINSBURG — Opioid abuse is already affecting kids’ cognitive development well before they enter school, according to one West Virginia state legislator.

State Sen. John Unger, D-Berkeley, said he will introduce legislation during the 2019 Legislative session to allocate funds to help the mental development of young children impacted by opioid abuse.

“That’s because opioid abuse is eating our lunch,” Unger said in a telephone interview Friday. “While we’re fighting the opioid epidemic, we’re going to lose a whole generation.”

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