West Virginia rate of babies born drug dependent jumps
CHARLESTON, WV (AP) -
Health officials say the rate of babies born dependent on drugs has increased dramatically in West Virginia over the last five years.
In releasing county-level data for about half the state Wednesday, the Department of Health and Human Resources said in a news release that the statewide rate for neonatal abstinence syndrome was 50.6 per 1,000 live births last year.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, West Virginia had the nation's highest rate of babies born dependent on drugs at 33.4 per 1,000 hospital births in 2013, compared with the national average of 5.8.
The state data shows Lincoln County had the highest rate last year at 106.6 per 1,000 births. Marshall County was next at 102.1.
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