Newton County Health Department launches program to help pregnant women overcome addiction

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Many people resolve to kick unhealthy habits in 2019. But, for some, that decision could be the most important one they’ll ever make, especially when getting clean from drugs is their resolution.

This is a cause that means so much to two local organizations. The two groups are trying to help pregnant women who are caught in the web of addiction kick habits that can have a tragic affect on their unborn babies.

The Newton County Health Department is launching a program to help expectant moms overcome addiction. Public health nurse Patti Yates says it allows pregnant women who know they have a problem but aren’t afraid to admit it, come in and take the first step towards overcoming opioids or any other chemical addiction they might have.

“We would obviously counsel them on the risk of that, especially associated with being pregnant, give them some material and then if they wanted, we would pay for their first visit to a counselor,” says Patti Yates.

If they aren’t sure if they’re pregnant, they can go to the department and take a test. If it turns out positive, they will be referred to the restoring hope counseling center just a few blocks away. Depending upon how many women come in and sign up for the program, they may be able to get more than just their first session covered. And she says there could be even more help in the form of support groups.

“And then hoping to make the other piece of that is eventually partner them somehow with programs like Circles in Joplin or even the Talkington Foundation here to give them some resources for someone to come beside them with those issues that’s probably walked that road,” says Yates.

The money to create the program comes from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. It started at the first of the year and is expected to last through August.

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