East TN baby inspires drug legislation

One East Tennessee baby is inspiring legislation to curb Tennessee's prescription drug problem.

Three-month-old Bella from Kingsport may look like any other baby, but she suffers from neonatal abstinence syndrome, or NAS.

Her mother was addicted to morphine while pregnant with Bella and suffered withdrawals the day she was born.

Bella's situation is a growing one across the state with more than 900 cases of NAS reported last year.

Now Tennessee representative Tony Shipley is drafting a bill to help addicted mothers receive treatment.

It's something Bella's grandmother hopes will help make a difference.

"I want everything she went through not to be in vain, to help her, and I want her to be able to stand up and say 'I helped other babies,'" said Kathy Houseright Jones.

Shipley plans to introduce 'Bella's Law' when the General Assembly reconvenes next January.


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