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Effort seeks to protect babies from drug exposure

The Associated Press
Published:   |   Updated: April 20, 2013 at 04:22 PM

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TALLAHASSEE Florida officials have launched an educational website and helpline to raise awareness about babies being born exposed to prescription drugs.

BornDrugFreeFL.com and the helpline at 1-877-233-5656 are meant to educate expectant mothers about the importance of discussing prescription drug use with their doctors and to offer assistance.

Billboards will go up across the state to promote the website and helpline.

The website and helpline were announced Friday by Attorney General Pam Bondi, Department of Children and Families Secretary David Wilkins and Surgeon General Dr. John Armstrong.

Newborns exposed to prescription drugs while in the womb suffer from Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome. Symptoms include fever, seizures, blotchy skin, respiratory problems and sensitivity to sounds and light.

Officials say about seven out of every 1,000 Florida babies born in 2011 were diagnosed with NAS.

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