Former Addicts Counsel Pregnant Women on their Road to Recovery in one of a Kind SSM Health Program

MADISON, Wis — In the fight to end opioid addiction, SSM Health is partnering with Safe Communities to match addicted pregnant patients with recovery coaches.

The Pregnancy2Recovery program is the first of its kind in the country. SSM Health doctors are identifying at-risk patients in Dane County, then pairing them with someone who has been through the same situation.

“I’m just like the women I work with. I’m 13 years sober now. I used drugs and alcohol maybe 20 years of my life,” said recovery coach Jewel Adams.

She said the coaches are not social workers or law enforcement officers, but trusted friends who don’t judge. They help patients navigate the challenges of carrying a baby who will go through withdrawal.

“I talk to my patients like how I’d want someone to talk to me, because when I was pregnant I didn’t have a program like this, which I really needed,” said Adams.

The 56-year-old used crack cocaine during three of her six pregnancies. But she said she doesn’t regret her past. Without it, she wouldn’t be able to help the two expecting mothers she is coaching.

“When I share my story with women, I’m giving them a hope shot really,” said Adams. “I’m letting them know that it can be done, you don’t have to live this way.”

From 2000 to 2009, the use of opioid drugs during pregnancy has increased from 1.19 per 1,000 hospital births to 5.63.

“Not only does it happen more often than you think,” said Dr. Susan Davidson, but it happens in all walks of life and to everybody in every socioeconomic class.”

Davidson hopes Pregnancy2Recovery will help solve the epidemic in a more holistic way and bring babies into a more stable home.

“Our patients need somebody positive. They need somebody who can encourage them, they need somebody who they can share their deepest feelings with without feelings like they’re being judged,” said Davidson.

Adams knows exactly what these women are going through. She encourages them to stop feeling guilty and talk to people, instead of suffering alone.

“There’s fear in being pregnant and using drugs. You don’t know for sure if your baby will be taken from you, you don’t know if your baby is going to come out sick. That’s the worst feeling a mom could have,” said Adams.

The program is free. It is funded through a grant given to Safe Communities.

Original Article: https://www.channel3000.com/former-addicts-counsel-pregnant-women-on-their-road-to-recovery-in-one-of-a-kind-ssm-health-program/

Surgeon General recommends Expanding Naloxone Access

MADISON, Wis. — The surgeon general announced Thursday that he encourages people to carry a drug that revives victims of overdoses.

Dr. Jerome Adams made a statement today saying family members of those at risk of overdose should carry naloxone, a drug that combats the effects of opioid.
The drug, also called Narcan or Evzio, is already carried by emergency responders. Efforts are underway to make the drug more available.

Cheryl Wittke, of Safe Communities Madison-Dane County, said she agrees with the surgeon general’s statement.

“You know family members. If you got any concern about a family member who is dealing with an opioid addiction, really, we encourage everybody to have it. We have trainings through the Parent Addiction Network where family members, anybody can come to a quarterly training that we offer with AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin to get naloxone and be trained on how to use it. So really, yes, everybody should have it,” Wittke said.

According to Wittke, overdose deaths often occur when a family member who could have administered naloxone, is in the next room.
The number of opioid overdose deaths has doubled since 2010. The announcement from the surgeon general shows the extent of the opioid crisis.
The advisory considers those at risk for overdose as individuals who take opioid prescriptions for pain and those abusing opioid drugs, including heroin.

Original Article: https://www.channel3000.com/surgeon-general-recommends-expanding-naloxone-access/