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Newborns testing positive for drugs becoming more common

Published: Thursday, February 21, 2019 @ 7:23 PM

Newborns testing positive for drugs becoming more common

Just 2 days old, and a little girl tested positive for cocaine.

News Center 7’s Kate Bartley obtained a report from the Dayton Police Department showing Montgomery County Children Services took custody of the newborn right from a hospital nursery.

Caseworkers called police Monday, because they needed an officer’s help taking custody of the baby born Saturday who tested positive for cocaine. The report noted the newborn’s mother also tested positive for cocaine.

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RELATED: Newborn tests positive for cocaine at Dayton hospital

The Public Children Services Association of Ohio says cases like this are becoming more common.

An Ohio map shows the percentage of children pulled from homes where parents are abusing drugs. Preble County is the highest, with drugs affecting 65 percent of removal cases.

The mother whose baby tested positive for cocaine at Miami Valley Hospital doesn’t face any charges.

Earlier this month, Bartley reported how Montgomery County Children Services has so many children in foster care, it is sending them to at least four other states.

RELATED: Increase in costs, number of kids in foster care a battle for children services

“Here’s our war. Here’s our emergency. Here’s our crisis,” said Helen Jones-Kelley, who runs Montgomery County Alcohol, Drug Addiction & Mental Health Services.

It’s getting a lot more expensive to take care of children in the system, too.

The cost of foster placements in Ohio went up $100 million over the last five years, and by next year, it’s expected to increase another 12 percent to $414 million.

She said many of these children have experienced major trauma, such as being prostituted for drugs or finding their parents overdosed.

“We are succeeding in bring the number of overdoses down and saving lives, certainly. But we’re not succeeding in terms of the trauma, the carnage that’s left when this wrecks a family’s life,” Jones-Kelley said.

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