Birth moth­ers on opi­oids get on­line aid

Pawtucket Times - - HEALTH/FITNESS -

LE­BANON, N.H. (AP) — Co­or­di­nated, com­pas­sion­ate care is the goal of a new pro­gram de­signed to help moth­ers and ba­bies af­fected by north­ern New Eng­land's opi­oid cri­sis.

Dart­mouth-Hitch­cock's Peri­na­tal Ad­dic­tion Treat­ment Pro­gram is us­ing a grant from the March of Dimes to cre­ate an on­line tool­kit for hos­pi­tals and health cen­ters that want con­sis­tent guide­lines and a sys­tem­atic ap­proach to care. For ex­am­ple, the tool­kit in­cludes con­sent forms that en­able a pa­tient's ad­dic­tion treat­ment provider and med­i­cal care team to share in­for­ma­tion and work to­gether.

"Providers were say­ing, 'I feel like my pa­tients have two dif­fer­ent health care teams — they have their ad­dic­tion treat­ment provider and they have their peri­na­tal health care team, and the two don't talk to each other. This is not a safe sit­u­a­tion,'" said project co­or­di­na­tor Daisy Goodman.

Of­fi­cials es­ti­mate about 10 per­cent of new­borns in New Hamp­shire's Up­per Con­necti­cut Val­ley re­gion are ex­posed to opi­oids be­fore birth. While that num­ber has in­creased, knowl­edge about how to treat them also has sig­nif­i­cantly im­proved, Goodman said.

"We've done some hard think­ing about treat­ment ver­sus a puni­tive ap­proach," she said. "I hope we're mov­ing as a na­tion in the di­rec­tion of treat­ment and sup­port and heal­ing."

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