Grant will help local heroin-addicted mothers, newborns - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Grant will help local heroin-addicted mothers, newborns

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Kaylee was born addicted to heroin and is receiving support, along with her mother, from the grant. (Provided photo) Kaylee was born addicted to heroin and is receiving support, along with her mother, from the grant. (Provided photo)
(FOX19) -

As heroin addiction continues to hold a tight grip on the Tri-State, the number of children born to addicted mothers is on the rise. Now, a pilot program is hoping to save the lives of those mothers and their babies.

From the moment they are brought into the world, hundreds of local babies are addicted to heroin. The inconsolable cries, the high pitch screams, shaking, trembling all of it is in response to their desperate need for the drug.

The Maternal Opiate Medical Support (M.O.M.S) is working to find the best way to help these babies and their mothers.

At four months old, little Kaylee is as happy as any baby deserves to be. Much happier than the first few days after her birth.

"She was restless in her legs, a lot of tremors. She had that high pitched scream that just something was missing," said her mother Jamie.

Jamie, a recovering heroin addict, knew immediately her child was going through withdrawal. 

"The guilt was probably the most horrible out of all of it because she didn't ask for none of this. Kaylee is absolutely innocent in all of this and she deserves a healthy mom," said Jamie.

"If you are addicted and you are using narcotics, heroin in particular, you are getting that into your bloodstream and that bloodstream passes through the placenta and it passes into the baby and the baby all of a sudden becomes addicted just like you are addicted," said Terry Schoenling, Vice President of First Step Home.

Schoenling says more and more pregnant women addicted to heroin are looking for help which is why a $300,000 grant through M.O.M.S pilot program will help treat their newborn babies and literally save lives.

"If you have proper prenatal care and you get these women into the proper kinds of treatment earlier, that stay in that NICU unit and the severity of the harm to that baby is very limited," said Schoenling.

Jamie and Kaylee received that care and now both of them are in recovery. It is a place Jamie says she plans to be for a long time.

"Maintaining sobriety is the most important thing I've learned here. How to deal with life on life's terms," said Jamie.

M.O.M.S. pilot program is funded through the Ohio Governor's Office of Health Transformation's Innovation Fund. It is one of four in the state working with the goal of finding the best way to treat heroin addiction in pregnant mothers.

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