AUGUSTA — Maine Gov. Paul LePage says the state is projecting that there will be more than 800 drug-affected or dependent babies born in Maine by the end of the year.

The Republican governor used his weekly radio address on Wednesday to shine a light on the growing number of drug-affected babies in Maine.

LePage says that about 770 drug-affected or dependent babies have been born in Maine so far this year.

According to figures from the state’s health department, that’s more than four times as many drug-affected Maine babies born in 2005, when the state began collecting data.

LePage said the state needs to reverse the trend and that he’s working with health officials to address the problem, including looking at how other states are addressing drug-dependent newborns.

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