Prescription Drug Abuse & Pregnancy

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Tallahassee, FL - A task force looking into prescription drug abuse among pregnant women met today in Tallahassee.

It's finalizing some of its recommendations for the upcoming 2013 legislative session.

The statewide task force on prescription drug abuse and newborns led by attorney general Pam Bondi tackled an issue that has hit Florida - specifically newborns and what happens with pregnant women who are abusing pills.

John H. Armstrong, M.D., Florida State Surgeon General, stated, "and in particular addressing the tragedy of newborns exposed to prescription drugs. We've really looked at state-wide colaborative efforts."

The task force made up of legislators, doctors and other medical professionals made recommendations including prevention, intervention and treatment.

David Dixon of the Florida Osteopathic Medical Association, stated, There's a lot of parts of our state that are very unaware about the problem that's out there."

Thanks to steps in place the state has already seen some good numbers.

A decrease in prescription drug overdose death by 6.3% in 2011.

A number that dropped from a little more than 2,700 to about 2,500 deaths.

Doug Leonardo, Florida Substance Abuse Treatment, added, "physicians and nurses in those offices now tell us they couldn't live without our folks being there. So to be able to do that kind of intervention is key."

It still remains to be seen what recommendations from the task force will make it into bills in 2013.

The recommendations were not voted on. They're considered guidelines for possible legislation in 2013.

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