Pregnant Detoxed Women
According to David Reagan, Chief Medical Officer of the Tennessee Department of Health, there is an epidemic of babies being born dependent on legal and illegal drugs their mothers ingest during pregnancy. At birth, the baby is cut off from the drug and suffers a painful process of withdrawal. The condition is known as Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome or NAS. An estimated 850 babies were born addicted to drugs in Tennessee. Sullivan County has the highest rate in the state (3.3 times the state average).
Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome is most prevalent in East Tennessee. 76% of babies born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome come from Department of Health Regions 1, 14, 2, 3, and 4, which comprise only 28% of all live births in Tennessee. The Department of Health’s Eastern regions had the highest percentage of cases in 2013, totaling 64% of all cases in the state. (TN Dept. of Health), (Regions 1, 2, 3 and 4 are East Tennessee).
The approximate average hospital cost for a NAS baby is $75,000, which does not include the future long-term effects and treatment.
Research Team – in an effort to address the issue of NAS babies, ETSU and Niswonger Children’s Hospital have teamed up to improve the odds in reduction of NAS babies. This research team has successfully detoxed pregnant women and delivered healthy babies without NAS. Dr. Stephen Loyd, a leading research physician and addiction specialist works collaboratively with ETSU’s Center for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment College.
Fairview is a community partner and member of the group. The biggest barrier to accomplishing this amazing trial is keeping the women from using drugs while at home or in their current living environment. Bristol Lifestyle Recovery will not provide any type of medical treatment but will offer a community within the facility to help house these women during their pregnancy. Their care will be overseen by doctors participating in the program. Bristol Lifestyle Recovery will also assist this cutting edge research by helping to heal the women emotionally and prepare them for their healthy bundle of joy by teaching mom how to live sober, develop coping skills, learn about proper nutrition, parenting skills, job skills, life skills and how to create a self-sustainable living situation for her and her new born. Bristol Lifestyle Recovery will reserve approximately 30 beds for pregnant women referred by local addiction physicians. This brings participation for Bristol into a hopeful new National model and best practice.
Dr. Loyd, along with Dr. Timothy Smyth and other addiction specialist physicians, have agreed to work with Fairview to develop and oversee the residential program at Bristol Lifestyle Recovery.
ETSU Center for Prescription Drug Abuse and Misuse