The Cradle Act: Necessary measure merits passage

An editorial from the Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BLUEFIELD, W.Va. — The statistics are alarming and merit prompt attention. According to health officials, 7 percent of all babies born in the Mountain State are suffering from neonatal abstinence syndrome as a result of withdrawal from the drugs their mothers consumed during pregnancy.

That is far more than the 5.8 births per thousand that is the nationwide statistic. Even more troubling is the fact that instances of neonatal abstinence syndrome, or NAS, have grown five-fold in the last few years. This is why we welcome last week’s introduction of the Cradle Act by U.S. Rep. Evan Jenkins, R-W.Va.

 The necessary legislation creates guidelines for residential pediatric care centers, which in return will offer clinical care to newborns and counseling for mothers and families, the Register-Herald in Beckley reported last week.

Several years ago when he was still a state lawmaker, Jenkins was involved in the three-year process to build Lilly’s Place in Huntington, one of the first stand-alone residential pediatric recovery centers in the country.

“Going through withdrawal from heroin and other opiods is a horrific way to start one’s life, but that is the reality for many newborns in West Virginia and across the country…

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