State Representative Ryan Smith (R-Bidwell) announced today that the Ohio House of Representatives has passed legislation to better monitor the births of babies who are dependent on addictive drugs.

House Bill 315, which is one of several House bills aimed at curbing opiate addiction in Ohio, requires maternity units, newborn care nurseries and maternity homes to report the number of newborns diagnosed with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) to the Ohio Department of Health on a quarterly basis.

“This legislation received three hearings in the committee that I chair—the Health Subcommittee on Opiate Addiction Treatment and Reform,” Rep. Smith said. “Having these reports will be an important part of measuring the extent of this problem and focusing on areas where lives can be saved.”

Neonatal abstinence syndrome takes place when a pregnant woman takes an addictive substance, which is then passed through the placenta to the baby. After birth, the baby may show a variety of symptoms of withdrawal. NAS can also be diagnosed through medical testing and a scoring system.

Under the legislation, the reporting form will be developed by the Department of Health and must not include any information that could identify patients.

House Bill 315 will now move to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.

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