Category Archives: public health

Mother finds redemption after drug addiction

Oct. 4, 2016: A mother who fought addiction and criminal charges for giving birth to a drug addicted baby is sharing her story of redemption to encourage others who are in a similar situation.

Robin Wilhoit, WBIR 6:12 PM. EST October 04, 2016

A Tennessee mother who has struggled with addiction wants to make it easier to find help.

Only 11 percent of people who need treatment for drug addiction in Tennessee actually receive it, according to the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse.

And there’s a growing epidemic of babies born drug dependent in East Tennessee.

Brittany Hudson’s teens and early 20′s were consumed with alcohol and oxycodone.

In 2014, Hudson was pregnant and addicted. She became one of the first women in Tennessee charged under a new state law with assaulting her unborn child. Continue reading

CELEBRATE MOTHERS IN RECOVERY FROM SUBSTANCE USE DISORDERS IN MAY

This was posted on May 9, 2016, on The Donaldson Adoption Institute website:

Mother’s Day evokes handmade cards from grade school kids to their moms, flowery cards to new moms, and loving cards for years of devotion to mothers from their adult children. For mothers who grapple with substance use the desire to do right by their children is complicated by the weight of addiction, which can tear families apart.

Making a documentary about a treatment program that helps mothers with substance use disorders keep their children is important to filmmaker, Sheila Ganz. In 1969, Ganz was an unwed mother. She became pregnant as the result of being raped. Her parents wanted her to go into a home for unwed mothers in Boston. Ganz didn’t want to go there. So she got a job, saved her money, bought a car and headed out for Los Angeles. She totaled her car just east of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and was pinned under the car with a fractured pelvis at five months pregnant. After being in the hospital, she went into a Booth Memorial Home for Unwed Mothers. Ganz was not given a choice and unwillingly relinquished her newborn daughter for adoption. “Losing my daughter felt like an amputation. I lived for the day when I would find her and tell her I love her.” Continue reading

National Advocates for Pregnant Women victories in Arkansas, Wisconsin‏

CONTACT INFORMATION:
Cynthia Greenlee, National Advocates for Pregnant Women
Phone: 212-255-9252, ext. 38
                                                               crg@advocatesforpregnantwomen.org
NAPW marks 2 legal victories in states that have incarcerated women
based on pregnancy and drug-use claims
Appeal will free Arkansas woman, Wisconsin case moves forward
NEW YORK – On Oct. 8, the Arkansas Supreme Court reversed the conviction of Melissa McCann Arms, who was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment for introducing a controlled substance into the body of another person when she gave birth in 2013. The Arms v. State of Arkansas victory comes a week after a federal district court ruling that allowed a constitutional challenge to the 1997 Wisconsin “cocaine mom” law to go forward. Together, the cases represent two important and positive rulings that uphold the rights and health of pregnant women.

In its ruling, the Arkansas Supreme Court concluded that the intent of Arkansas’ law was to prevent the drugging of another person through the use of “knock-out drugs” and not to punish women who become pregnant and deliver despite drug use.
Continue reading

The Work Before Us: A Message from Michael Botticelli

Posted by Michael Botticelli on February 09, 2015 at 05:46 PM EST

Many great movements to change public perception and policy around a public health issue have been fueled by people with a disease speaking out publicly.  What is seen as someone else’s problem—someone else’s disease – takes on a new dimension when people speak up about it.

Such was the case when Betty Ford revealed her breast cancer diagnosis and her substance use disorder. Such was the case when Magic Johnson revealed that he was HIV positive, spurring action to stem the AIDS epidemic.

Yet, despite the fact that nearly every family and community in America is affected by a substance use disorder, those fighting to overcome this disease are too often hidden in the shadows of shame and denial.  It is whispered about. It is met with derision and scorn. Continue reading