Three Iowa counties are part of a new program to identify and treat kids who may’ve been exposed to drugs by their parents or guardians. Marvin Van Haaften, the director of Iowa’s Office of Drug Control Policy, says Polk, Dubuque and Appanoose County are taking part. He says it’s a multidisciplinary approach that combines law enforcement, prosecutors, child protective investigators and nurses and doctors to determine if the child had been exposed and the best course of treatment. Van Haaften says children will be seen immediately at a hospital after the potential drug exposure’s been identified. He says it’s kind of common sense, but it’s the first time all of these agencies have gotten together to do something for the common good of the child exposed to dangerous chemicals. Van Haaften says there’s a need for such a program. He says the Department of Human Services has identified 502 children already that’ve been exposed to drugs. Van Haaften was joined by federal officials Monday who like what Iowa’s doing. He says the feds are pooling money and announced a national program to springboard off of what Iowa’s is doing. He says they’ll be watching Iowa closely to see how the pilot projects do. Van Haaften says he’d like to see the program expanded all across the state.
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