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Addiction a potential problem for the unborn exposed to prescription drugs

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Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi is refocusing state efforts to combat prescription drug abuse in expectant mothers. University of Florida Pediatrics Professor Mark Hudak says a baby exposed to certain classes of drugs in the fetus will experience severe symptoms of withdrawal.

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He says the use of legal prescription drugs has modestly increased in the last few years among pregnant mothers, but not every baby exposed to prescriptions while in-utero will develop a dependency.  A new task force which met yesterday will take a close look at this problem- both the reach and cost of it. Hudak says the cost can go beyond just a hospital bill.

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Hudak says the opioids or narcotics, like painkillers, pose the biggest risk. He hopes this task force will especially focus on spreading knowledge of the problem to medical professionals who do not focus on pediatrics, and may prescribe the drug to expectant mothers without knowing the consequences it could have.

About Ethan Magoc

Ethan is a journalist at WUFT News. He's a Pennsylvania native who found a home reporting Florida's stories. Reach him by emailing emagoc@wuft.org or calling 352-294-1525.

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