Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack (CA-45) today addressed a meeting of the Addiction Treatment and Recovery Caucus on Capitol Hill and urged outside groups to do more to fight prescription drug abuse -- now the fastest growing drug problem in America, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. After the meeting, Bono Mack said one of the most damaging aspects of addiction is its impact on newborn babies:
"A recent report in USA Today revealed that the number of newborn babies hooked on prescription painkillers 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 tripling over the past decade. This is a national epidemic that demands our full attention.
"The use of addictive painkillers, such as OxyContin, Opana 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."