Recovery House Helps Addicted Moms and Newborns Heal

The heartbreak of babies suffering Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome while their mothers battle Opioid addiction is a growing concern. Infants born with Opioids in their system and expectant mothers who abuse Opioids create a cycle of separation and frustration for moms. Mothers feel guilt of exposing their children to harmful chemicals and feel even worse when they are taken away from their children. Thus, some are more likely to abuse substances to cope with their mental and emotional state.

This observation has led the establishment of recovery housing like Casa Mia in Bexar County, Texas, that supports close relationships between mother and baby. Casa Mia functions as a safe space for women to bond with their child and feel connected to them throughout the healing and recovery process. Women entering Casa Mia must be expecting and suffering an Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) for treatment.

The home offers recovery from addiction, stability, and bonding time for babies and mothers.

Like traditional facilities, patients receive behavioral therapy as well as medication. Treatment models follow a holistic path, with attentive staff and support. Mothers in treatment complete life skill-centered training with financial courses and parenting classes. Mothers practice accountability with different activities in the program.

Mothers must take their recovery seriously; there are consequences for failing drug tests. Bringing substances into the home carry strict punishments. Mothers can also be banned from the home. The mothers aren’t forced to recover under a certain timeframe, however, their long-term goal is to leave the home. Women in the home will leave with an encouraging sense of self-awareness and independence as they transition into their next step in life. Moreover, their baby will be protected and a part of their mother’s growth – both have a fresh start.

Separated At Birth

The Opioid Epidemic has been hard on the lives of many Americans affected by its grip. For years, San Antonio, Texas, has endured battles with high rates of  Heroin abuse and overdoses. Due to San Antonio’s proximity to Mexico, it has relatively easy to transport the powerful Opiate through Texan borders. One consequence is the many lives taken by Opioids, and the children who suffer the side effects. Expectant mothers fight the battle of Opioid abuse on a regular basis, and when babies are born, they endure extremely difficult withdrawal symptoms.

When babies exhibit tremors and high-pitched screams as a result of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS), they must be hospitalized. Depending on the mother’s state of recovery, sometimes babies are reunited with their mothers. In other cases, babies can be taken into foster care or remain in the care of others.

One San Antonio woman recalls having her sister watch her baby as she went through detox in a local facility.  Upon her release, she was able to find her baby after the baby received withdrawal treatment. From there, she went on to live in a housing space dedicated to reuniting mothers and babies post-treatment.