Philadelphia (CBS) – A local doctor is testing a faster and cheaper way to wean newborns off of drugs.

A baby born dependent on such drugs as methadone or oxycontin requires an average of five weeks in the hospital for treatment with morphine.

Dr. Walter Kraft, director of the clinical research unit at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital wants to shorten that stay.

“We hope to shorten the length of stay which will help reduce costs but also will help the infant-mother bond and the less time we can have infants in the hospital the better off they and mom will be.”

He says the study of 80 newborns will test the effectiveness of a drug called Buprenorphine, which has been successful with adults. He hopes it will reduce the infant’s hospital stay by a third saving thousands of dollars.

Reported By Lynne Adkins, KYW Newsradio

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