COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio House has approved a bill requiring hospital maternity units and newborn care nurseries and maternity homes to report the number of babies born addicted to drugs.
The reporting to the state Health Department, mandated for every three months, is one of several bills aimed at reducing the state’s prescription painkiller addiction epidemic.
The bill sponsored by Rep. Lynn Wachtmann, a Republican from Napoleon in northwest Ohio, would not include information that could identify the child.
Wachtmann says tracking the number of drug-addicted babies will help the state monitor Ohio’s progress fighting drug addiction.
The measure, approved unanimously, now goes to the Senate.
Overdose drug deaths, many of them from painkillers and heroin, have been the leading cause of accidental death in Ohio, surpassing car crashes, since 2007.