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Congress OKs Rep. Clark's Bill To Aid Opioid-Exposed Infants

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A bill sponsored by U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark intended to help newborns suffering from exposure to opioids is heading to President Obama for his signature.

Clark said the bill is the first federal legislation to aid newborns suffering from the condition known as "neonatal abstinence syndrome."

The bill instructs the Department of Health and Human Services to come up with the best approach for diagnosing and treating the syndrome, and helping states collect data.

Clark's legislation was approved unanimously by the House on Monday. The Senate unanimously approved the bill in October.

The Massachusetts Democrat said the presence of newborns in intensive care units across the country is a reminder that the opioid epidemic knows no bounds.

She said the number of infants suffering from withdrawal grew nearly five-fold from 2000 to 2012.

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