Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Task force discusses prescription drug abuse among mothers and infants

TAMPA — After a car accident in 2007, Carrie Reiter, 29, was left with terrible neck pain.

Her doctor wrote her a prescription for pain medication, but the pain never went away. She tried different medications at different dosages, but nothing worked.

Reiter developed an addiction.

"I couldn't care for my kids anymore, and I couldn't care for myself anymore," said Reiter, a registered nurse and mother of three.

She finished a rehab stint with Daytona Beach-based Project WARM (Women Assisting Recovering Mothers) seven months ago. During her stay, she was allowed to keep her baby with her, and she has since regained custody of her other two children.

Reiter shared her story Monday afternoon during the second meeting of the state task force on prescription drug abuse and newborns.

"I love myself again," she said.

Led by Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, the 15-member task force was created this year to address the growing problem of drug abuse among expectant mothers and how to take care of babies suffering from neonatal withdrawal syndrome.

One of the topics was how to expand and advertise programs such as Project WARM that help mothers such as Reiter recover from addiction and take care of their children.

The task force convened at St. Joseph's Women's Hospital and discussed everything from how to treat women with drug addiction during a pregnancy to designing a logo and a slogan for the group.

About 80 percent of the cases in the Tampa Bay area that involve removing children from their homes are related to substance abuse, said David Wilkins, secretary of the state Department of Children and Families. That's also true for about 60 percent of the cases statewide.

"We really need to be thinking big because the cost of what's happening here in the state is enormous," Wilkins told the committee.

Members agreed that the issue is more complex than it seems. They said they need not only to campaign for drug abuse awareness and prevention, but also to determine how to best treat mothers and their babies.

"If we can prevent this, it's going to save so much money and so much heartache," Bondi said.

Task force discusses prescription drug abuse among mothers and infants 07/23/12 [Last modified: Monday, July 23, 2012 11:47pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Encounters: Trial by storm for a rookie principal

    K12

    DUNEDIN — When he nodded off to sleep, the hallway lights outside Michael Vasallo's office were on, so the sudden darkness woke him.

    The glow of his desk phone dimmed.

    Michael Vasallo, right, the first-year principal at Dunedin Highland Middle School, talks with the school's head plant operator Clint Case near the back-up generator on campus. The generator failed just as Hurricane Irma passed through Pinellas County, making for a stressful night. The experience made Vasallo long to return to his regular job, educating middle schoolers. [COLEEN WRIGHT   |   Times]


  2. Who is in charge during a hurricane? Hillsborough County and Tampa still can't agree

    Hurricanes

    TAMPA — Who has the authority to order an evacuation during a hurricane?

    Mayor Bob Buckhorn says he has evacuation authority.
  3. Gators rally past Kentucky, streak hits 31

    Blogs

    LEXINGTON, Ky. — For the second week in a row, Florida found itself storming the field in a game that came down to the last second. A 57-yard field-goal attempt by Kentucky kicker Austin MacGinnis came just a few feet short of making history and snapping a 30-year losing streak, as the No. 20 Gators escaped a …

    Florida wide receiver Brandon Powell (4) scores a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Kentucky, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, in Lexington, Ky.
  4. Pen makes it way too interesting as Rays hang on for 9-6 win

    Blogs

    A couple of home runs provided the news pegs of the night for the Rays, but it was more topical to talk about what nearly happened as they hung on for a 9-6 win over the Orioles.

    Lucas Duda's three-run homer in the third inning was the Rays' record-breaking 217th of the season, as well as his …

  5. An attempt to project what Rays will look like in 2018

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — We know what the Rays look like this year: a team that had enough talent but too many flaws, in construction and performance, and in the next few days will be officially eliminated from a wild-card race it had a chance to win but let slip away.

    Adeiny Hechavarria, high-fiving Lucas Duda, seems likely to be brought back.