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. Hollywood lost a serious filmmaker in Jerry Lewis

    Movies

    The day the clown died, Hollywood lost a serious filmmaker in Jerry Lewis.

    Jerry Lewis in 2005. Lewis, the comedian and filmmaker who was adored by many, disdained by others, but unquestionably a defining figure of American entertainment in the 20th century, died on the morning of Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017, at his home in Las Vegas. He was 91 (New York Times)
  2. Game of Thrones: 'Beyond the Wall' is dark and full of terrors

    Blogs

    In the battle between the living and the dead, you win or you get the dragon queen to come rescue you.

    Beric Dondarrion (Richard Dormer) and Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) in Game of Thrones Season 7, episode 6.
  3. The Tampa Bay Rays are unlikely to make a decision on whether the team will leave Tropicana Field until after the St. Petersburg mayoral election, people close to the negotiations believe.
  4. Live video: See how the solar eclipse is unfolding across the country

    Space

    Americans with telescopes, cameras and protective glasses staked out viewing spots along a narrow corridor from Oregon to South Carolina to watch the moon blot out the midday sun Monday in what promised to be the most observed and photographed eclipse in history.

    A family sets up a tent at their campsite at sunrise for the solar eclipse Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, on the Orchard Dale historical farm near Hopkinsville, Ky. The location, which is in the path of totality, is also at the point of greatest intensity. [Associated Press]
  5. What time is the eclipse near me? NASA's interactive solar eclipse map has the best answer

    Space

    No matter where you are during today's solar eclipse, NASA has a map that will determine exactly what time the eclipse will begin, peak and end at every location in the United States.