Fla. Health Officials Raising Awareness of Pregnancy & Prescriptions

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TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Florida officials are launching an initiative to tackle the growing problem of newborns exposed to prescription drugs.

Newborns exposed to prescription drugs while in the womb suffer from Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome. Symptoms include fever, seizures, blotchy skin, respiratory problems and sensitivity to sounds and light.

Officials say about seven out of every 1,000 Florida babies born in 2011 were diagnosed with NAS.

Attorney General Pam Bondi, the Department of Children and Families and the Department of Health held a press conference Friday in Tampa to expand on a campaign launched last month.

The BornDrugFreeFL.com and a 1-877-233-5656 helpline are designed to educate expectant mothers about the importance of discussing prescription drug use with their doctors.

Officials said radio and TV spots promoting the website and helpline will also air.

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