Born to Drugs Maine's most innocent victims


Nearly 5,000 babies have been born affected by drugs in Maine in the past five years. These innocent victims are caught in a crisis that is marked by suffering and strained hospitals and state resources. This series of often gut-wrenching stories examines the challenges within this sad reality.

Jay Patrick "J.P." wakes up from his nap in Monmouth, ME on Wednesday, August 8, 2018. Lisa Hasch adopted J.P. and his older brother Devon, and J.P. was an NAS baby who arrived at 4 weeks with withdrawal symptoms that included tremors, rashes, vomiting and constant screaming. J.P. got a feeding tub in July 2017 which improved his quality of life.

Piercing cries and a state of crisis

Nearly three drug-affected babies were born each day in Maine from 2013-2017, severely taxing hospitals, the foster care system and other resources.

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Authors & Contributors

Yoon S. Byun

Photojournalism changed my life. It taught me, a naturally shy person, how to connect with other people, often strangers whose most personal stories I was charged with documenting. I believe working as a journalist is both a privilege and a responsibility. My work has been recognized by Pictures of the Year, the Edward R. Murrow Awards, National Headliners. I was part of the The Boston Globe staff that won a Pulitzer for its coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings.

Barbara A. Walsh

Barbara is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who has worked for newspapers in Ireland, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Florida. While working at the Lawrence Eagle-Tribune, Walsh reported on first-degree killer William Horton Jr. and Massachusetts’ flawed prison-furlough system. The series changed in-state sentencing and furlough laws and won a 1988 Pulitzer Prize. During her career at the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram, Barbara wrote in-depth series on several social issues in Maine. Many of her stories changed laws and earned national, state and regional awards. Barbara is also the author of an adult biography/memoir, August Gale: A Father and Daughter’s Journey into the Storm, and Sammy in the Sky, a children’s book illustrated by Jamie Wyeth. She lives on a lake in Maine with her two daughters, husband and Paco, a rescue dog from Puerto Rico. When she is not writing, taking pictures or walking Paco, she can be found sitting by the lake, comforted by its blue-green waters.


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