Florida campaign to protect newborns from drugs - WFLA News Channel 8

Florida campaign to protect newborns from drugs

Posted: Updated:
Diana Sprague, 28, and son Jaiden Wilding, 7 months Diana Sprague, 28, and son Jaiden Wilding, 7 months
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

Florida officials are launching a new campaign aimed at convincing moms-to-be to stay off drugs for the sake of their babies.

The campaign will include billboards, commercials and a website (borndrugfreefl.com) with the slogan, "A baby's life shouldn't begin with detox." The public awareness campaign is funded by the Department of Children and Families and grew out of a statewide task force that also involves the Florida Department of Health and the state surgeon general.

According to statistics posted on the borndrugfreefl.com website, about seven in every 1,000 Florida babies born in 2011 were diagnosed with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, meaning they had been exposed to drugs before they were born.

"These babies, their incubators they have to be covered in blankets, they're sensitive to light, to touch, to sound," said Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, who kicked off the campaign in Tampa on Friday. "They're being born into this world, these babies, just like you would see an addict who's going through the symptoms of withdrawal."

Diana Sprague said she started seeing symptoms in her baby, Jaiden Wilding, after he was born.

"It was probably two days after he was born that I started noticing him having tremors and he was sneezing a lot, and he was doing things that were worrying me a lot," she said.

Sprague said Jaiden was showing signs of withdrawal, and ended up in a hospital neonatal intensive care unit for a month.

Sprague, 28, says she was addicted to pills and using them while pregnant with her son. She says she sought help after being told by the Department of Children and Families that she could lose custody of Jaiden – once he was born – and his older sister.

When she was six months pregnant, Sprague went to the Drug Abuse Comprehensive Coordinating Office, or DACCO, in Tampa. Jaiden, now seven months old, received treatment and is now healthy.

Sprague encouraged other moms in her situation to seek help, too.

"There is an answer and there is help," she said. "You just have to want it, that's all."

Officials say the campaign is also an effort to help keep babies with their mothers when those parents make healthy choices.

Sprague says she has not slipped since she started treatment at DACCO, and wants to stay clean for her kids.

"I just keep thinking in the back of my head that if I screw up, I'm going to lose my kids, and I can't do that, I can't do that to them," she said. "They're my lifeline. They need their mom."

  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Removal of tons of stinky rice near Port of Tampa begins

    Removal of tons of stinky rice near Port of Tampa begins

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 5:06 PM EDT2014-07-30 21:06:23 GMT
    The nasty stench near the Port of Tampa may get better soon. Dump trucks worked to remove some of the 1,000 tons of rotting rice on the private land Wednesday. 8 On Your Side discovered the shipment of bad rice, rotting under tarps on property owned by Tampa Marine Terminals on Tuesday.
    The nasty stench near the Port of Tampa may get better soon. Dump trucks worked to remove some of the 1,000 tons of rotting rice on the private land Wednesday. 8 On Your Side discovered the shipment of bad rice, rotting under tarps on property owned by Tampa Marine Terminals on Tuesday.
  • SAFETY ALERT: Saltwater bacteria kills 1 in Sarasota

    SAFETY ALERT: Saltwater bacteria kills 1 in Sarasota

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 3:50 PM EDT2014-07-30 19:50:00 GMT
    WFLA file photo.WFLA file photo.
    A death in Sarasota County has health officials reminding people about a bacteria in Florida's coastal waters that has the potential to cause serious illness, even death. Other counties in Tampa Bay have reported cases of Vibrio vulnificus.
    A death in Sarasota County has health officials reminding people about a bacteria in Florida's coastal waters that has the potential to cause serious illness, even death. Other counties in Tampa Bay have reported cases of Vibrio vulnificus.
  • An app that repels mosquitoes? We test it.

    An app that repels mosquitoes? We test it.

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 11:53 AM EDT2014-07-30 15:53:07 GMT
    Now, there's an app that claims to keep mosquitoes away. You can download the anti-mosquito sonic repeller on your smart phone.
    Now, there's an app that claims to keep mosquitoes away. You can download the anti-mosquito sonic repeller on your smart phone.

  • NewsMore>>

  • Removal of tons of stinky rice near Port of Tampa begins

    Removal of tons of stinky rice near Port of Tampa begins

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 5:06 PM EDT2014-07-30 21:06:23 GMT
    The nasty stench near the Port of Tampa may get better soon. Dump trucks worked to remove some of the 1,000 tons of rotting rice on the private land Wednesday. 8 On Your Side discovered the shipment of bad rice, rotting under tarps on property owned by Tampa Marine Terminals on Tuesday.
    The nasty stench near the Port of Tampa may get better soon. Dump trucks worked to remove some of the 1,000 tons of rotting rice on the private land Wednesday. 8 On Your Side discovered the shipment of bad rice, rotting under tarps on property owned by Tampa Marine Terminals on Tuesday.
  • SWAT team invades wrong house, Sarasota woman files lawsuit

    SWAT team invades wrong house, Sarasota woman files lawsuit

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 5:00 PM EDT2014-07-30 21:00:51 GMT
    Louise Goldsberry shows where she spotted the swat team before they entered her home Louise Goldsberry shows where she spotted the swat team before they entered her home
    In July 2013, Louise Goldsberry was washing dishes in her Sarasota apartment when she saw a camouflaged man with a large weapon outside her window.
    In July 2013, Louise Goldsberry was washing dishes in her Sarasota apartment when she saw a camouflaged man with a large weapon outside her window.
  • Closing arguments wrap up in McTear trial

    Closing arguments wrap up in McTear trial

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 4:33 PM EDT2014-07-30 20:33:43 GMT
    Attorneys had one last chance to try to sway jurors Wednesday before they deliberate if Richard McTear is guilty of throwing a baby out of a car window onto I-275.
    Attorneys had one last chance to try to sway jurors Wednesday before they deliberate if Richard McTear is guilty of throwing a baby out of a car window onto I-275.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Dramatic doggie makeovers put new face to pet adoption

    Dramatic doggie makeovers put new face to pet adoption

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 5:14 PM EDT2014-07-29 21:14:31 GMT
    What a difference a bath can make! Millions of shelter dogs across the United States just need a little bit of grooming and TLC in order to shine, as evidenced by these photos.
    What a difference a bath can make! Millions of shelter dogs across the United States just need a little bit of grooming and TLC in order to shine, as evidenced by these photos.
  • 8 ways to save on groceries without coupons

    8 ways to save on groceries without coupons

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 5:07 PM EDT2014-07-29 21:07:49 GMT
    Wikimedia Commons photo by Eja2kWikimedia Commons photo by Eja2k
    ShopSmart magazine sent undercover shoppers through grocery store aisles and discovered plenty of ways to lower your grocery bill.
    ShopSmart magazine sent undercover shoppers through grocery store aisles and discovered plenty of ways to lower your grocery bill.
  • Couple's selfie photobombed by lightning bolt

    Couple's selfie photobombed by lightning bolt

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 11:56 AM EDT2014-07-29 15:56:28 GMT
    A couple vacationing in Mexico was almost hit by lightning, a few sources including Washington Post reported Tuesday.
    A couple vacationing in Mexico was almost hit by lightning, a few sources including Washington Post reported Tuesday.
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.