Health Check: Recovery home for pregnant moms to open

VBH's NICU has monitored 39 babies for drug withdrawal symptoms.

LYNCHBURG, Va (WSET) - A new home for pregnant women addicted to opioids is about to open in Lynchburg in the new year.

About a year ago, ABC 13 first caught wind from health officials about a growing and dangerous trend -- babies born addicted to opioids because their mothers were users.

That's when the idea of the Oak Lane Recovery Residence started.

"Nicole" -- whose identity we've agreed to conceal -- has a lot to deal with: a new baby and an opioid addiction.

I'm still struggling with a little bit of depression but I think it's getting better,” Nicole said. “It's gonna take time.”

A year ago, a newly pregnant Nicole came clean.

“Mainly I was taking Suboxone but I was buying off the street. But when I didn't have it I'd get Lortabs, oxycodone, “Nicole said. "There was nothing I could do but ask for help."

Nicole was referred to Shannon Miles -- the nurse navigator at Virginia Baptist who is now the lifeline for dozens of pregnant women addicted to opioids in our community.

“We see these moms come in, their homes are unstable, their partners are encouraging them to use,” Miles said.

Virginia Baptist partnered with the non-profit addiction treatment center Roads to Recovery to open a home for those women to deal with their addiction, pregnancy and a new baby.

“We feel like if we can take them out of that environment, give them the support they need, the confidence they need and get them in a clean recovery program they can have success,” Miles said.

The Oak Lane Recovery Residence is right across the street from the Virginia Baptist Hospital -- with easy access to addiction counseling and parenting courses.

Roads to Recovery will run the home, provide peer counseling, life skills, and employment help.

Right now, there's enough space for four moms and four babies, but with 39 babies born this year alone at Virginia Baptist who had to be monitored for drug withdrawal, the limited space might seem like a drop in the bucket.

"That is a drop in the bucket but we have to start somewhere," Miles said.

Taking it one mom, one baby at a time and making this house their home.

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