Justice commends area for Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome collaboration

Michigan Supreme Court Justice Joan L. Larsen, the court's liaison to problem-solving courts, commended the greater Alpena and northern Michigan communities for their collaborative effort to find solutions to the growing issue of babies born to mothers with drug addictions.

Larsen offered her comments as Alpena Judge Thomas LaCross, Cheboygan Judge Robert Butts, Alpena and Montmorency DHHS Director John Keller, the Exchange Club of Alpena, and other community leaders announced the release of the video titled "Stories Not Secrets" about Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS).

NAS occurs in newborns exposed to addictive opiate drugs before birth. Symptoms include excessive crying, seizures, poor feeding, sleep struggles, diarrhea, trembling, and other health problems.

"Finding solutions to problems isn't easy, but when community groups share their time, expertise, and compassion, positive change can happen. Finding solutions to substance abuse is especially difficult, but their message shows that the help of a caring community can make all the difference," said Larsen. "Across our state, the dedication of everyone involved in drug, sobriety, mental health, veterans, and other treatment courts is solving problems, saving lives, and transforming our communities," Larsen added.

The video will be available to courts, schools, human services, treatment centers and community organizations.

Published: Wed, Apr 27, 2016

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