Center for Addiction and Recovery Studies helps pregnant opioid-dependent moms get recovery and pregnancy support

Friday, Mar 10, 2017

Pregnant mothers who are addicted to opioids often avoid getting the pregnancy care they need due to fear of losing their children.

Opioid addiction remains a major issue in the U.S., and social workers from UTA are helping to reduce the stigma and make the world safer for moms and their babies.

Interns with the Dallas-based Center for Addiction and Recovery Studies (CARS) via UTA’s School of Social Work go to homeless shelters and high-risk areas and hand out Narcan, which helps prevent narcotic overdoses, and pregnancy tests.

More than six out of ten drug-induced deaths involve opioids, with more than half a million people dying from overdoses from 2000-2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Many women delay prenatal care and treatment for substance use disorders because they fear being viewed as a “bad” mother and that seeking treatment will result in their children being removed from their care,” according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Thanks to additional funding through the Pregnant/Postpartum Intervention Program led by UTA School of Social Work Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs Debra Woody, women and their babies who have neonatal abstinence syndrome and are facing withdrawals receive resources through recovery support, parenting classes and products that help reduce the stress of withdrawal.

The purpose of the program is to identify women who would have come forward for prenatal care and help them find doctors, treatment and case management said LMSW Kris Edwards, who does outreach for the New Connections program.

Baby beds and swaddling materials are supplied to moms to help keep their babies calm through the withdrawals. The goal is to safely detox the moms and their babies off opioids and provide help to ensure the women don’t go back to using and lose their children. – Written by Monica S. Nagy

Video: Journeys of Hope: Mommies and Babies Overcoming NAS

Contact: The Center for Addiction & Recovery Studies
               6363 Forest Park Road, Level A, Suite 226
               Dallas, Texas 75235