9:46am

Tue August 13, 2013
Health and Welfare

Volunteers Comfort Drug Addicted Newborns

More than 250 "cuddlers" have volunteered to comfort newborns going through withdrawal when a unique, independent treatment center opens this fall in southern West Virginia. Lily's Place in Huntington plans to wean infants off drugs outside a hospital setting while also helping their addicted moms. Donations arrive every day. But good intentions don't always pay the bills.

The founder of a slightly different newborn treatment program in Washington State worries whether Lily's Place will find a stable source of funding to survive long term. Lily's Place co-founders Mary Brown and Sara Murray believe it will work. They say it has to: The need is too great.

At Cabell-Huntington Hospital, one in 13 babies is born drug-exposed. Some days, 70 percent of the neonatal intensive care unit beds are filled.