County program brings drug-addicted newborns and their mothers treatment through partnerships between government, hospital, and nonprofit service providers.
To protect Harford County’s youngest citizens from the heroin epidemic seizing the nation, County Executive Barry Glassman and his administration are initiating an innovative program to reduce drug addiction in newborn babies.
According to Harford County,
Over the past 14 years, the Health Department reports a 142 percent increase in the number of Harford County newborns exposed to drugs and/or alcohol. More than 300 babies were born addicted to drugs in the last four years alone.
Through Project Health Delivery the government will bring resources to mothers and infants in need. The program will coordinate private and nonprofit health service providers and fill in the gaps with dedicated funding to help address the heroin crisis. From the press release,
Under Project Healthy Delivery, treatment resources will be brought to Harford County through a partnership between Harford County government, the Birthright of Bel Air Pregnancy Center, Addictions Connections Resource (ACR), and Father Martin’s Ashley Outpatient Treatment Program at the University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Hospital. Pregnant women seeking assistance will be offered drug and alcohol assessments, counseling, and individualized treatment plans at the hospital in Bel Air from Dr. Mariana Izraelson and her treatment staff at the Ashley Outpatient Treatment Center.
Harford County government will provide funding from County Executive Glassman’s heroin initiative to help cover the expense of drug testing and mental health screening, transportation, and “gap” funding for uninsured mothers and treatment services not covered by insurance. ACR will provide case management and financial support for this at-risk population. Birthright will offer expectant mothers support, family planning and parenting classes.
For more information, see the Harford County Press Release.