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DOH-Volusia - No-Cost Breastfeeding Classes in March

February 27, 2018

Daytona Beach - Since 2006, the rate of babies born addicted to opioids has increased dramatically. And the trend is on the rise. This is one of the findings in a report on newborn and infant health released by the Department of Health in Volusia County (DOH-Volusia).

The 12-page Healthy Volusia Report is online at

Babies born to opioid-addicted mothers suffer a complex of withdrawal symptoms called Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS). The 2016 rate of newborns with NAS was 1,900 percent higher than in 2006. Volusia County's rate of NAS births nearly doubles the state rate.

The report looks at a variety of factors that affect babies from fetal growth until their first birthday. Factors reviewed include:

  • Birth weight

  • Breastfeeding

  • Vaccinations

  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

  • Safe sleep environments

  • NAS and the complexity of substance abuse disorders

  • Smoking during pregnancy

  • Infant mortality and hospitalizations.

According to Healthy People 2020, the well-being of women, newborns, infants and children determines the health of the next generation and can help to predict future public health challenges for families, communities and healthcare systems. Healthy People provides science-based, 10-year national objectives for improving the health of all Americans. It is an initiative of the of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

The DOH-Volusia report cites age-adjusted rates to compare populations regardless of their age structure. Cause and effect relationships or utilization rates are not analyzed. The Department prepares these types of health reports for use by community partners who serve various populations or address health risks. Reports also help to raise awareness among the general public, according to Patricia Boswell, DOH-Volusia administrator.

About the Florida Department of Health

The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

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