Data from the Centers for Disease Control shows the number of babies born addicted to drugs nationwide has quadrupled in the past 15 years. In Florida, the number is higher than it has ever been. “It’s a national epidemic and Florida has been hit hard,” said Dr. Cherie Foster, MEDNAX-affiliated neonatologist and medical director for the NICU at St. Joseph’s Women’s Hospital in Tampa. “They are irritable, feed poorly, have a high pitch cry – they are very sick,” Foster said. This year so far at St. Joseph’s Women’s Hospital their numbers have decreased significantly since 2015. “Our institution numbers have gone down, but this is still a major epidemic,” she said.
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