By Mitchell Garets, Jerry Cochran, Jade Hill, Jacob Foringer; SUPeRAD Team
The effects of the opioid crisis have been felt all across the United States. Utah has some of the highest rates of opioid overdose among women and the highest prevalence of opioid prescribing to pregnant women insured through Medicaid. To reduce and prevent harm to pregnant mothers and their babies, it is important that these women receive proper treatment for opioid use. However, healthcare providers in rural areas, such as Carbon and Emery xounties, could benefit from additional resources to address this major health problem.
Treatment of opioid addiction in pregnant women not only requires medical attention from physicians, but also involves continued community support and compassion. Addressing a major public health problem such as this takes immense involvement from stakeholders. Recognizing this need, physicians, social workers, educators, peer advocates, researchers and community members from across the state of Utah have been collaborating to improve the care of pregnant women with opioid use disorder.
The SUPeRAD (Substance Use in Pregnancy Recovery Addiction Dependence) Clinic is a specialty prenatal clinic that offers comprehensive care to women and their families. The clinic offers comprehensive obstetrical care, addiction specialists, medication management, peer coaching, counseling services and parenting classes. The SUPeRAD Carbon & Emery Counties Project is an initiative to strengthen prenatal and postpartum care to women experiencing a dependence on substances in Carbon and Emery county communities while expanding the mission of the SUPeRAD Clinic.
We have worked closely with local stakeholders in providing case management, access to healthcare services, monthly educational webinars for best treatment practices, and focusing on outreach within both Carbon and Emery counties. Through this initiative, we hope to reduce the stigma surrounding addiction and treatment while also promoting a community of recovery.
Since starting last fall, we have learned about the strengths and resilience of Carbon and Emery county community members as well as discovering new opportunities for collaboration in training and service to pregnant women and their families who have been affected by opiate misuse. We appreciate the support of health/social service providers and the community members who have joined our in-person and web-based trainings along with those who have provided referrals.
Our project might be ending soon, but there is still time and ways to get involved. You can learn more about the project and our team, watch any of our previous trainings/webinars, check out our monthly newsletters, access resources, and contact us at www.tinyurl.com/parcka-superad.