The Colorado Health Department says the number of newborns in the state addicted to opioids jumped 83 percent from 2010 to 2015. The department says the state's rate climbed from two births out of 1,000 to 3.6 births in that five-year period.
The Denver Post reports the rate of newborns addicted to opioids skyrocketed at Parkview Medical Center in Pueblo, jumping from 0.7 per 1,000 in 2010 to 20.8 in 2012. The rate at Parkview now is around 10.
The increase in opioid-addicted babies in Colorado has resulted in hospitals, medical professionals and child-welfare departments working together. A Substance Exposed Newborns Steering Committee has helped pass a state law that stipulates pregnant women can tell their doctors about drug use without fear of criminal prosecution.