Barletta requests update on law to help opioid-addicted babies – Pennsylvania News

Barletta requests update on law to help opioid-addicted babies – Pennsylvania News

WILKES-BARRE — Concerned about the protection of babies born addicted to opioids, U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta Monday co-authored a letter requesting an update on provisions signed into law last year that would provide for their protection.

Calling the situation “an epidemic,” Barletta said there is an opioid-addicted baby born every 25 minutes in the U.S.

Barletta joined U.S. Rep. Evan Jenkins, R-W.Va., in writing a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price about their concern.

In response to a Reuters report that most states are failing to comply with a federal law requiring them to establish safe care plans for babies born addicted to opioids, Barletta introduced the Infant Plan of Safe Care Improvement Act, which requires that states receiving federal funds for child protective services comply with federal law and enact certain guidelines for the welfare of children exposed to opioids.

“I consistently hear about the opioid epidemic when I am home in Pennsylvania,” Barletta said. “No segment of our community is safe from the scourge of opioid addiction. Sadly, that includes babies who are born addicted.”

Barletta said every 25 minutes, a baby is born having already been exposed to drugs and suffering from opioid withdrawal. He said his legislation will help bring many lives back from the brink of disaster, particularly those of the most vulnerable among us.

“Since day one, I have worked to make sure that newborns impacted by the drug crisis have a chance at a healthy and happy start to life,” Jenkins said. “That includes safe-care plans, which ensure that states are monitoring the…

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