Drug Free Mother/Baby
Program begins its third year
Pregnant women continue to receive support to combat their drug addiction through the Drug Free Mother/Baby Program (DFMB) program offered by Greenbrier Valley Medical Center (GVMC) and Greenbrier Physicians, Inc. The three-year program is made possible through grants from the WV Perinatal Partnership, the Claude Benedum Worthington Foundation, and the WV Bureau for Behavioral Health.
Since November 2012, Care Manager Tameran Asbury has seen all incoming obstetrics patients at Greenbrier Physicians Clinic. A master’s level clinician, licensed social worker, and substance abuse professional, Asbury meets with mothers at their first prenatal appointment to screen for current/past substance abuse. If positive for substance abuse or screened as at risk, the mother is offered support and assistance in reducing and eliminating drugs before her baby is born. If they choose, mothers with addictions work with Asbury throughout their pregnancy. Women are referred to inpatient facilities if a higher level of treatment is needed. The holistic program connects mothers with services and resources to help them meet the basic needs of their family. Agencies include WIC, Right from the Start, Parents as Teachers – REACHH, Communities in School, Behavioral Health, and the GED program.
“In order to be successful, we know that a multidisciplinary approach must be taken to get these women, and inadvertently, their babies, off drugs,” said Dr. Coy Flowers, OB/GYN.
The Drug Free Mother/Baby Program began when the GVMC nursery identified that nearly 19 percent of babies had been born with one or more drugs in their system. Over the past two years, GVMC has seen the number of illicit positive newborns reduced to 7 percent and less severe drugs are seen in umbilical cord blood.
The program’s efforts have been successful in many ways:
• 8% reduction in new OB patients testing positive;
• 10% reduction in Child Protective Services referrals;
• 90% success rate for women who tested positive in their previous pregnancy and are clean on their subsequent pregnancy;
• 60% of patients who were positive prenatally had negative umbilical cords by delivery;
• 62% of patients were negative at their postpartum appointment;
• 17% reduction of marijuana use and 11% reduction of opioid use in the Greenbrier Valley when compared to the rest of the state.
Approximately 50 women are receiving education, support, encouragement, case management services, brief treatment/brief intervention, and/or group/individual therapy with their prenatal care. Offering a range of incentives for attending all prenatal and counseling appointments and for eliminating substance abuse (as evidenced by clean drug screens) has proven effective.
Opioid-addicted pregnant women are known to use Buprenorphine (Suboxone/Subutex) to avoid withdrawal symptoms, whether it is illicit use or prescribed. Subutex has become one of the treatment methods used in treating pregnant women with opioid addictions. Asbury states, “Even though it (Buprenorphine) can be safer than other types of illicit use, babies can and do suffer withdrawal symptoms.” To help reduce this problem, the Drug Free Mother/Baby recently began working with Crosswinds Detoxification Center.
Kelly Morgan, director, states, “We are excited to be a part of the Drug Free Mother/Baby program to allow women in our area the opportunity to wean from illicit drugs in a controlled environment to help bring healthy babies into the world.”
Drug Free Mother/Baby helps mom, baby, and the whole family have a better, safer, and overall healthier lifestyle. Teamwork among all healthcare providers continues to be one of the keys to the success of the program. Greenbrier Valley Medical Center and Greenbrier Physicians, Inc. are committed to continuing efforts to reduce substance abuse in the Greenbrier Valley.