EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSMATERNAL ADDICTION HELP
from Eyewitness News Online
Grant To Help New Program For Pregnant Women With Addiction
Reported by: Darrah Wilcox
Web Producer: Darrah Wilcox
Reported: Jan. 17, 2012 3:36 PM EST
Updated: Jan. 19, 2012 9:18 AM EST
Huntington , Cabell County , West Virginia
"It is the most common problem associated with pregnancy in this region," says Dr. David Chaffin, director internal fetal medicine at Marshall University's School of Medicine.
It's not hypertension or gestational diabetes, but opiate addiction is now the most common high-risk pregnancy related issue doctors say they see in this region.
That's why they're taking a proactive approach, trying to help the women the best they can during the pregnancy.
Dr. David Jude is chairman of OB/Gyn at MUSOM. He says, "Most people that we see addicted to opiates really want help."
Recently, Coventry Health Care gave a $50,000 grant to University Physicians and
Surgeons, Inc. and the Department OB/Gyn to help pay for start-up costs for this new Maternal Addiction and Recovery Clinic. Once a week, pregnant women who want the help will go through group counseling session, and one-on-one counseling session, and if necessary, get outpatient treatment with Subutex, and opiate-based medicine to help people with addictions.
Dr. Chaffin says, "None of these opiates cause birth defects. That's one thing to realize. They all have a risk of baby having withdrawal." But research shows the withdrawal is significantly less with the proper dosage and treatment through a program just like this. Dr. Chaffin says, "These patients got addicted before they saw us, there are programs available to hopefully take care of them after their pregnancy, but during their pregnancy, minimizing the amount of medication use, and using a medication that results in the best babies possible is what we're after."
They hope to reach out to as many at-risk mothers-to-be as possible. Dr Jude says,
"We think once people have positive experiences, they'll tell other people, and that's the way that the clinic will grow."
You can reach the Maternal Addiction and Recovery Center at 304-691-1400.
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