Case Navigators: A common barrier to seeking treatment services is the inability to navigate the complex system. Healthy Connections proposes the development of case navigators, who will help guide families through the entire spectrum of services and resources, especially at times of transition from birth to kindergarten. They will also provide comprehensive assessments to identify the services that are most needed, coordinate those services, and provide information to agencies to help them make determination of safety of the infant.
Peer Recovery Coaches: Healthy Connections will also integrate certified Peer Recovery Coaches who are in long-term recovery and are trained to provide supportive services from a first-hand perspective, throughout the program. They will be trained in infant and early childhood development and remain an integral part of the treatment team throughout the course of the mother’s recovery.
TREATMENT OF PRENATAL EXPOSURE
One in five babies born in Cabell Huntington Hospital (CHH) have been prenatally exposed to drugs. The Neonatal Therapeutic Unit in CHH and Lily’s Place are uniquely equipped to provide the best and most innovative care to these newborns. Babies receive treatment in a quiet environment with therapeutic handling, with a volume driven feeding protocol, medicine to manage withdrawal symptoms if necessary, and general medical care. Families are educated about the needs of their infant and available transition services.
MEDICATION ASSISTED TREATMENT PROGRAMS
Medication assisted treatment (MAT) programs have been established as best practice for the treatment of opiate addition by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). All participating MAT programs in the Healthy Connections coalition are committed to ASAM and SAMSHA best practice guidelines and adhere to requirements of the West Virginia Office of Health Facility Licensure & Certification. MAT includes medication management, group and individual therapy, education, and peer support groups. Psychosocial treatment focuses on helping mothers understand, learn, and practice living a drug free life by improving emotion regulation, decision making skills, and the ability to engage in healthy goal directed behavior.
RIVER VALLEY CARES
Through a partnership with River Valley Child Development Services, Healthy Connections proposes to establish birth-to-two child-care services for infants with neonatal exposure. Staff will maintain best-practices to improve the development of these infants, integrate Marshall students into training and research programs, and then disseminate best-practices and research outcomes around the state. By housing the child care and other services in the same location, we aim to remove the transportation barrier and improve retention in the programs. This center will also be a location for the community to come together and support these families by providing a “one-stop-shop” for families and providers by reducing common barriers to treatment and improving service retention.
Services will include: Evidence based care-giver/child dyadic therapies addressing attachment, trauma, and substance abuse; Individual, Couple, and Family therapy; Recovery Groups; Community engagement services: GRE/education, legal services, vocational training, nutrition and cooking classes, exercise, gardening, support groups and skill building, organized fun social activities, education and resources related to child development.
Treating the negative effects of addiction are much harder and far costlier than providing prevention services in advance. Many groups are working to provide preventative services, and Healthy Connections is supporting collaborations between these groups to support their outreach. Prevention of neonatal exposure includes partnering with other groups within the Marshall Substance Abuse Coalition to support programs such as VLARC (long-acting birth control education and services), SBIRT screening services for providers, and drug-education throughout the school system.