Apr 032016
 April 3, 2016  Misc, Youth & Schools

I know that there are a lot of well-intentioned folks who think fighting data collection is always a Good Thing, or that at the very least, opt-in consent should always be required, even for research purposes. But here’s a good example of why we don’t want to totally hamstring research that’s important for informing policy and allocating resources.

Yes, it’s important for entities and government to be clear about why they’re collecting certain data and its value to the public, but no, we shouldn’t insist that opt-in consent always be required.

  7 Responses to “A Crisis With Little Data: States Begin To Count Drug-Dependent Babies”

  1. I disagree, once the gov’t, schools, law enforcement consider someone drug-dependent it WILL follow them throughout their life. This is a smoke screen for more unwarranted gov’t intrusion.

    • Joe: if you don’t get a handle on the scope of the problem, allocate necessary resources, and provide early intervention, many of these babies won’t have lives to be intruded upon. Parents will not necessarily be honest in this situation and will likely not seek help for the babies. So yes, in this situation, I think govt has duty/role to infants.

  2. Once the gov’t identifies a drug-dependent baby, how hard do you think it will be for them to get a job?

    How much would you like to bet the gov’t., will FORCE these kids into a drug treatment programs and school counseling?

    When they get a driver’s license later in life, the gov’t will force them to put “Whiskey” license plates on their cars. and probably put a special designation on their passports and Real-ID’s identifying them as drug-dependent.

    The gov’t., is using “Junk Science” to stigmatize entire generations of children.

    • On what basis do you call it “junk science?” There are diagnostic tests that are not subjective. I grant you more research needs to be done on effective treatment, but you’re not going to get the research without demonstration of need/scale. This is so much like what we saw in 60s-80s with “orphan diseases.” Don’t make the same mistake.

  3. What am I missing? You just posted an article about student ‘suicide software’ that has privacy issues, IDENTICAL to drug-dependent babies.

    It’s the same privacy issues that will happen to anyone red-flagged as drug-dependent.

    As concerns my junk-science claims, there is ZERO scientific evidence a child born from drug addicts will be drug dependent their entire lives. “Ted Dallas, head of Pennsylvania’s Department of Human Services, calls the information he’s working with reasonably good.”

    “It’s now mandatory for doctors and hospitals to report cases of neonatal abstinence syndrome within 30 days, and Tennessee made it simple for them to do so.”

    It’s nothing more than another gov’t. surveillance system:

    “But what the surveillance system has actually allowed us to see”…Dr. Michael Warren said.

    “Starting in July, PA officials plan to start collecting data about all babies who are born dependent on opioids.”

    Their lives will be ruined because the gov’t., claims they’re drug-dependent.

    Imagine growing up in a society that pre-judges you based on your parents drug habits.

    • You’re missing a lot. For starters, the student “suicide software” was not the intended purpose of the software, but incidental use with no transparency to users in advance.

      Second, this is not about labelling babies as drug dependent their entire lives: that’s your extension or prediction of what you think will happen. This is about babies being born with health problems due to mothers’ drug misuse or addiction. It’s about getting newborns the medical treatment/assistance they need to give them a better start in life.

      Have you ever worked with kids born with FAS or any of these conditions?

      Read the literature from professional pediatric associations about the syndrome and risk to infants.

      Your anti-surveillance anti-government stance would deny some babies healthcare they need.

      If you want to impose controls on how the info is used down the line/road, I’m with you 100%. But I am not with you on denying babies treatment they may need now because of your fears of the future. If they don’t get help now, they may have no future, or a lousy future that might have been avoided.

      And yeah, you have now witnessed what happens when I put my “real” hat on as a healthcare professional who works with kids in clinical practice and in the schools. Finding out the extent of the problem and allocating resources makes good sense to me if it leads to better and earlier treatment.

      • Yes, I agree with the issue to have more research to help infants who may be affected by substances during pre-natal months. To substantiate the claim on supporting those children, its a screening to diagnose to give them the medical and early intervention therapies needed. All of these tools and research help educators with bringing in the right supports and resources from the preschool to adolescent years.

        Sorry, saw this comment thread, and felt the need to put my teacher hat on for this one.

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