President Barack Obama is proclaiming it’s “Prescription Opioid and Heroin-Epidemic Awareness Week.”

As more people become addicted, he’s also asking Congress to pass $1.1 billion in new treatment funding.

But getting connected to treatment can be as difficult for struggling addicts as deciding to seek help in the first place.

Wikimedia Creative Commons

The number of babies born physically dependent on drugs is on the rise in Florida and around the nation.  The condition, called neonatal abstinence syndrome occurs in newborns who were exposed to addictive opiate drugs like heroin, methadone and oxycodone in utero.  According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the number of babies born with NAS increased five-fold from 2000 to 2012.  

Federal health advisers recommended approval Tuesday for an experimental implant designed to treat patients recovering from heroin and painkiller addiction.

  Xavier Francesco Medlin is only 11-days-old and detoxing from prescription drugs. His mother Hillary Medlin gazes down on him as she gives him a bottle, and baby Xavier starts to scream.

Intropin via Wikimedia Creative Commons

Naloxone is a prescription medication used to rapidly counter the effects of opioids from powerful prescription pain-killers like morphine and OxyContin to street drugs like Heroin. While the drug’s effects are unpleasant, if administered quickly, it can revive people who’ve overdosed on opiate medications and save their lives. Florida lawmakers will consider a bill in the upcoming session to expand availability of naloxone by allowing physicians to prescribe the drug to friends or loved ones of those taking powerful prescription opioids so it could be quickly administered in the case of an overdose. Supporters of the measure point to the more than 2,000 accidental prescription overdose deaths in 2013. Opponents point to potential legal liability issues and argue the bill could encourage prescription drug abuse.