Photographer Captures Addicted Mothers and Babies

By Bryan Le 07/08/13

The Wall Street Journal documents patients at a new clinic for opiate-addicted mothers and newborns.

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Tara Lee Bailey and her daughter, who was
born addicted to opiates
Photo via

The rise in babies hooked on opioids at birth is one of the more harrowing example of America's prescription painkiller epidemic. Every hour, an opiate-dependent baby is born in the United States, or about 13,500 infants in 2009—a five-fold increase from 2000. Though dependent mothers in some states still face prosecution or even jail time, a growing number of free clinics now work to get dependent mothers and their newborns the treatment they need. Funded by a combination of medicaid, health insurance and grants, there are at least nine such clinics in states including Washington and Pennsylvania. Andrew Spear, a photographer for the Wall Street Journal, visited one of them—the Maternal Addiction and Recovery Center at the Marshall University's medical school in Huntington, West Virginia—and took portraits of mothers who have sought treatment for their addictions and since given birth. Below is a portrait of Tara Lee Bailey, who sought help after quitting opiates on her own proved too hard, pictured with her daughter Willow Grace Chapman, who was born dependent. Check out the full gallery here.

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Bryan Le grew up in the 90's, so the Internet is practically his third parent. This combined with a love for journalism led him to The Fix. When he isn't fulfilling his duties as Editorial Coordinator, he's obsessing over fancy keyboards he can't justify buying. Find Bryan on LinkedIn or Twitter