Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack (CA-45), who serves as Co-Chairman of the Congressional Caucus on Prescription Drug Abuse, released the following statement after a new report in USA Today revealed that the number of newborn babies hooked on prescription pain killers is "exploding" across America:
"It's time for Congress to take decisive action. Prescription drug abuse, the fastest growing drug problem in America, is now impacting more and more innocent newborn babies -- with addiction rates in some cases soaring by more than 400 percent over a 5-year period. This is a national epidemic that demands our full attention.
"The use of addictive pain killers, such as OxyContin and Vicodin, has exploded in recent years among both children and adults. Someone with a toothache or sore knee should not be prescribed these powerful, potentially addictive narcotic drugs. They should only be given to patients suffering from late-stage cancer or other severe illnesses. We cannot stand idly by as newborn babies are brought into the world hooked on prescription pain killers. We have an overriding responsibility to help protect them."
Congresswoman Bono Mack, who also serves as Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade, held a nationally-televised hearing on prescription drug abuse earlier this year. She also has two bills pending in the House which would limit access to OxyContin and other oxycodone drugs (H.R. 1316) and require tough new standards of education for anyone prescribing them (H.R. 2119).