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New Program Connects Mothers With Postpartum Addiction Treatment

Photo by Wes Hicks on Unsplash

A new program to help women who are addicted to opioids and their newborn babies will launch in Indianapolis and aims to fill a gap in treatment services.

The Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation is granting more than $840,000 to address the problem. President and CEO Claire Fiddian-Green says Care Plus is patient-focused.

"Really at its core it’s going to take the patient’s viewpoint about the best way to connect them to services," says Fiddian-Green. 

The number of infants born dependent on opioids in 2014 in Indiana was more than 650. These new mothers face many obstacles to treatment says Fiddian-Green.

"Barriers like not having access to enough food, or transportation, housing and other services," says Fiddian-Green, "And then there continues to be the gap in care for long-term behavioral health services."

The Indiana University School of Medicine programwill offer patients options, including treatment referral and parenting skills. IU School of Medicine Dr. Deborah Litzleman says these services can lead to recovery.

"Folks who suffer from substance use disorder are probably most motivated around a life event like the birth of a child," says Litzleman. 

The program will first be offered to mothers at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis. The goal is to develop a model that can be shared statewide.