Sen. deMacedo Sponsoring Neonatal Program to Assist Substance Exposed Newborns

                     Sen. Vinny deMacedo

BOSTON -Plymouth State Senator Vinny deMacedo is sponsoring a State Senate Bill that would provide $300,000 in the state budget for a Health Policy Commission to administer a grant program for families that have babies with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome.

deMacedo’s amendment will allocate $300,000 to the Health Policy Commission to administrate a grant program for families with substance-exposed newborns that suffer from Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS).

The money appropriated by the Senate funds a grant program created by State Representative Mathew Muratore (R-Plymouth) in last year’s opioid bill. The program will assist families who are struggling to get support services for their children, provide specialized supports for newborns born opiate dependent and provide engagement and early intervention to at risk communities.

Newborns that are born with NAS, experience the same withdrawal symptoms that adults with the same dependency would experience including GI upset, muscle rigidity and sensory hypersensitivity. They can suffer from long-term consequences such as behavioral problems, vision impairments, and motor skill delays.  

“I am proud that my colleagues in the Senate joined me in supporting this important program,” said Senator deMacedo. “Every year, we see more far-reaching consequences from the opioid crisis. These innocent children and the families that often take them in deserve our support and every effort we can make to provide them assistance.”

The grant funded by this amendment will provide funding for consultation and education to front line providers in early intervention programs, schools, early childhood education programs around the long-term consequences of NAS.

As part of the grant program, improved engagement with early intervention services will be encouraged. Currently children with an NAS diagnosis are not accessing EI services until age 2 years 4 months on average. Grants will also assist with school age transition to the school system.


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