Program launched to help pregnant women, new moms with opioid use

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — When it comes to the opioid epidemic there are many different fronts to tackle. New Hanover County just announced a new partnership with the non-profit Tides.

The county and Tides signed a contract Tuesday forming a partnership in which the county would fund a three year pilot, providing more than $300,000 each year.

“Doing nothing or doing something are really the two options that we have and unanimously, we’ve chosen to do something and make an impact on these women and childrens’ lives,” New Hanover County Commissioners Chairman Woody White said.

The program will help women with opioid use disorder who are pregnant, anticipating pregnancy, or postpartum. Tides Founder William Johnston says this is a major stepping stone to help dozens of women in the future.

“We’re going to try to take these women through their pregnancy,” Johnston said. “Teaching them parenting skills and life skills and supporting them in their decisions and incurring healthy decisions so they can be healthy and they can have healthy babies.”

So far, the money provided will help secure treatment for 24 women in New Hanover County. White says this will be another big step towards beating the opioid epidemic.

“It’s based on real results. It’s modeled on a program out of chapel hill and it’s going to change the lives of women and it’s going to preserve and protect the future of these infants that are born,” White said.

So far, those in Tides’ program are in counseling, prenatal care and on medication assisted treatments. 62% of participants are from New Hanover County and it’s expected this will bring in more in the years to come.

Categories: Local, New Hanover