How Cincinnati Hospital Helps Heroin-Addicted Mothers and Their Babies


Nobody thinks methadone is good for a baby, but it's better than heroin, says the Cincinnati Enquirer in the continuation of a series on heroin problems. That's how some babies start life: dependent on the opiate their mothers took to fight their addiction to heroin and prescription painkillers. Their mothers are in Good Samaritan Hospital's HOPE program – Helping Opiate-addicted Pregnant Women Evolve – which hospital officials started five years ago as a way to help drug-dependent mothers get clean. Hospital workers give hope to drug-addicted mothers-to-be who want a better life for their babies. “Heroin is definitely an epidemic, and it's going to take the whole community to improve the lives of these women,” said Tosha Hill, HOPE's perinatal social worker. In fiscal 2008, HOPE was involved in 44 deliveries. Last fiscal year that jumped to 94 deliveries. The program is on pace to help more than 100 women this year. “The HOPE program is the one nonthreatening environment for pregnant women to get started in replacement therapy,” says the hospital’s Kathy Wedig. “They have people who understand addiction is a medical issue, not just a social issue where everyone addicted is a bad person.”

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