Substance Exposed Newborns

Treating for Two. Safer Medication Use in Pregnancy

To view the Women’s Intervention Specialist Referral Form and the Pediatrician Referral Form, please click here to access the Healthy Start section of Our Publications Library.

The Florida Certification Board, through its Center for Prevention Workforce Development and certification operations, offers a variety of online educational opportunities, including card_IV2_Page_1
substance exposed infants courses and preventing prenatal substance exposure. To register, visit the Florida Certification Board website.


When pregnant women take prescription medications, other drugs, or alcohol, their babies may be born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS). These babies are born suffering from withdrawal symptoms such as fever, seizures, blotchy skin, incessant shrill cries, respiratory problems, and extreme sensitivity to sounds and light. Approximately 7 out of every 1,000 Floridian babies born in 2011 were diagnosed with NAS, and the epidemic is growing.

But there is hope. There are many ways to help women of child-bearing age and expectant mothers decrease or eliminate drug withdrawal for their baby. “Born Drug-Free Florida” is an initiative by the Florida Department of Children and Families, Florida Office of the Attorney General and the Florida Department of Health to raise awareness about babies being born exposed to prescription drugs. The campaign educates expectant mothers about the importance of discussing prescription drug abuse with their doctors and to offer assistance to the women.