Ohio starts program to help drug-addicted babies, mothers

COLUMBUS (AP) — Ohio plans to start a program to help babies who are born addicted to drugs, as officials look to address prescription drug abuse and opiate addiction.

About 200 mothers and babies who are addicted to painkillers and heroin would get treatment and counseling under the $4.2 million, three-year pilot program, Gov. John Kasich’s administration announced Thursday.

Ohio has launched efforts in recent years to crack down on illegal prescription painkiller use and distribution, including changing guidelines for emergency room doctors and closing clinics where doctors were improperly prescribing drugs.

Overdose drug deaths have surpassed car crashes as the leading cause of accidental death in Ohio and several other states.

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