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Kentucky Has Twice National Rate of Drug-Dependent Babies

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Research shows Kentucky had more than twice the national rate of drug-dependent babies in 2013.

The Courier-Journal cites a recent research letter in the journal JAMA Pediatrics. The letter says Kentucky's rate was 15.1 cases per 1,000 live births when the U.S. rate was 7.3 in 2013, the most recent comparable year.

Both were up substantially from five years earlier, and Kentucky's rate jumped another 40 percent the following year.

Joshua Brown, one of the authors of the research, says there are situations when mothers are addicted throughout pregnancy and their addiction is passed down to their babies.

A Courier-Journal analysis of U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration data shows only 30 of the 123 substance abuse treatment facilities in Kentucky accept pregnant or post-partum women.

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