By Bob Katzen

The Senate 39-0, approved an amendment mandating that the state’s Department of Public Health and Department of Mental Health conduct a study on the occurrence and impact of neonatal abstinence syndrome in the Bay State.

Neonatal abstinence syndrome is a treatable condition that newborns may experience as a result of prenatal exposure to opioids and other drugs the mothers might take. Babies can then go through painful and difficult drug withdrawal after birth.

Amendment supporters say this has become a big problem in the Bay State and across the nation. “Pregnant women who use drugs, smoke or drink alcohol put their unborn babies at risk for neonatal abstinence syndrome and other problems,” says Stanford Medicine Children’s Health’s website. “Women who use drugs also may be less likely to get prenatal care. This can also increase the risks for both mother and baby.”

Sen. Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester), the sponsor of the amendment, did not respond to repeated requests by Beacon Hill Roll Call asking him to comment on his amendment.

(A “Yes” vote is for the amendment.)

Sen. Patricia Jehlen Yes

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