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NYS OASAS, DOH announce launch of new campaign focused on addiction services available for pregnant women in New York

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Tue, Mar 19th 2019 11:00 am

Campaign will highlight treatment options available in state for pregnant women struggling with addiction

By the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services

The New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) and the New York State Health Department (DOH) announced the launch of a new campaign to raise awareness of the addiction services available in New York for women who are pregnant. The campaign reminds women it is OK to ask for help, and that they should talk to a health care professional about the services and medications that can help treat their addiction and support a healthy pregnancy.

“Mothers in recovery and their children need the resources to live normal lives, free from the oppressive bonds of addiction,” said Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, co-chair of the state’s heroin and opioid abuse task force. “I have heard from families across the state who have felt the impact of addiction, and we’re taking aggressive actions to support the recovery of individuals and families in our communities. This new campaign will help to raise awareness of the services available for women in New York state, and ensure they receive the care and treatment they need to live healthy lives.”

Public service announcements, posters and palm cards were developed and will be distributed in community and medical settings, including OB/GYN facilities. The campaign will run in English and Spanish through April 15. Campaign materials, and more information regarding medication assisted treatment and services for pregnant women, can be found here.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) both recommend the use of medications when paired with counseling, as appropriate, to help pregnant women with opioid use disorder.

New York state offers a variety of programs dedicated to addressing the needs of women. Statewide, OASAS-certified providers oversee more than 40 residential addiction treatment programs specifically for women, including the first facility in the nation for women veterans which is located in Ellenville. In addition, New York has worked to ensure access to treatment for pregnant women by establishing them as a priority population for admission, meaning they cannot be put on a wait list when seeking treatment.

“For women suffering from addiction during their pregnancy, it is vitally important that they seek treatment as soon as possible,” OASAS Commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez said. “These critical treatment services are available throughout New York state to support women facing challenges related to their addiction, while also helping to increase their chances of having a healthy pregnancy.”

“We want women who are pregnant and struggling with addiction to know that there are safe and effective treatments available to help them,” Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said. “This campaign will raise awareness among providers and patients about medication-assisted treatment options that promote a healthy pregnancy.”

“Every child deserves a healthy start in life and a safe living environment. When mothers are suffering from opioid addiction during pregnancy or after, both the mother and child are at extreme risk,” said Sen. Pete Harckham, 40th Senate District, chairman of the Senate Committee on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse. “This campaign will help ensure that pregnant women and mothers are given the treatment and support necessary to help them recover and to best protect their children from the ravages of addiction.”

"As the overdose crisis continues to ravage every region of our state, it is vital that all New Yorkers are made aware of the support services available to them and their loved ones," said Assemblywoman Linda B. Rosenthal. "Mothers and pregnant individuals, in particular, face unique challenges accessing treatment for substance use disorder. I continue to sponsor legislation to expand the OASAS directory of licensed service providers, and believe we must also target specific populations to ensure they are connected to the resources tailored to fit their needs."

New Yorkers struggling with an addiction, or whose loved ones are struggling, can find help and hope by calling the state’s toll-free, 24-hour, seven-day-a-week HOPEline at 1-877-8-HOPENY (1-877-846-7369) or by texting HOPENY (short code 467369). 

Available addiction treatment including crisis/detox, inpatient, community residence, or outpatient care can be found using the NYS OASAS treatment availability dashboard at FindAddictionTreatment.ny.gov or through the NYS OASAS website. Visit CombatAddiction.ny.gov to learn more about the warning signs of addiction, review information on how to get help, and access resources on how to facilitate conversations with loved ones and communities about addiction. For tools to use in talking to a young person about preventing alcohol or drug use, visit the state’s Talk2Prevent website.

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