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New grant helps opioid addicted mothers, newborns

INDIANAPOLIS (WBND) -- A new grant will provide treatment for newborns and mothers addicted to opioids.

The Fairbanks Foundation is giving 844 thousand dollars to the Indiana University School of Medicine – to fund a program called “Care Plus.”

In 2016, statistics reveal more than 15 percent of Indiana newborns were born with neonatal abstinence syndrome – meaning they were exposed to opioids in the womb. That is much higher than the national average of around 10 percent.

The new program includes addiction therapy for mothers along with intensive attachment therapy to help in the bonding process.

Community health workers will check on the family and to monitor treatment.

The program will also connect the family with food, housing and transportation services.

President and CEO, Claire Fiddian-Green says, “Not only is it addressing a need that we have in our state but it’s also taking a compassionate approach to the mothers who are opioid dependent. It’s recognizing that addiction is a disease and it’s helping them get into treatment and also helping them get the tools to bond with their babies so the babies aren’t being taken away from their custody.”

Researchers are designing the program this summer and it’s expected to launch next January.

The goal is to create a tool-kit to give to other hospitals and organizations across Indiana for implementation.

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