Schumer proposes federal funds to reduce babies born addicted to prescription drugs


Schumer and Butler in Middletown

MIDDLETOWN/POUGHKEEPSIE – US Senator Charles Schumer was in the Mid-Hudson Valley on Wednesday to promote his proposal to use some of the federal funds from the just-passed federal appropriations bill to reduce the number of babies in the region being born addicted to prescription drugs.
He called on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, part of the federal Department of Health and Human Services, to use part of the increase from the 2016 appropriations bill to address the “alarming trend” of drug-dependent babies in the Hudson Valley.
While at the Middletown Community Health Center, the agency’s Executive Director Theresa Butler, said the money would help ease the problem.
“We know, not only as a health facility but as a community, this is really an epidemic,” Butler said.  She told Schumer a newsletter from the CDC said there were 52 Americans dying every day from opioid addiction and overdoses. “That is a staggering statistic and we need to work together. These are families in our communities; these are our neighbors.”
Schumer noted a state Department of Health report of the period from 2000 to 2012 found that the region experienced a rate of over 55 newborns with a drug-related diagnosis, per 10,000 newborn discharges.