Liz McCormick Published

House Passes Bill to Aid Pregnant Women Addicted to Drugs

Del. Don Perdue, Delegate Don Perdue

Seven bills were up for passage in the House Wednesday, including one that would give pregnant women in the state priority for substance abuse treatment.

We all know West Virginia has a huge substance abuse problem; one of the worst in the nation. So lawmakers are considering measures to address it.

House Bill 4347 would ensure pregnant women addicted to drugs be given priority to receive a treatment bed.

House Health Chairman Joe Ellington says the cost at some hospitals treating babies born addicted to drugs is anywhere from $30,000 to $200,000 dollars. He says this bill would help those babies before they’re born.

Delegate Don Perdue, a Democrat from Wayne County, says this legislation is an important step but just one piece to a much larger puzzle.

“We have to recognize that although the bell just rang for the marathon, we have got to finish the race, otherwise, there’s not going to be anybody left at the finish line to cheer,” Perdue said.

House Bill 4347 passed 97 to 2 and now goes to the Senate for consideration.

Appalachia Helth News

Appalachia Health News is a project of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, with support from the Benedum Foundation.