Local hospital treats babies going through withdrawal - Part 2
Updated: Wednesday, July 9 2014, 11:37 AM EDT
BENNINGTON -- "Heroin was one of the worst things I could have ever touched. It really took over my life, my body, my soul," said Nicole Haner, from Bennington.
That is why Haner said she is now seeking help. She said she is pregnant and doesn't want to lose her baby because of heroin.
"Once you have kids - that's all you want to do is be a mom," she said.
"What we are doing here is good for a healthy pregnancy," said Dr. Nels Kloster, from Bennington.
Dr. Kloster works with pregnant opiate addicted women. He said treatment often includes individual and group therapy, as well as replacement drugs, like Suboxone, which helps to reduce the symptoms of opiate dependence.
"What I like to think we are doing, by having these mothers have healthy babies, getting the partners in treatment, getting them off of illicit substances, that we are doing some primary prevention for their children," he said.
Dr. Kloster said that healthy families can break the cycle of drug abuse.
A lot of times, the women are referred to Dr. Kloster by doctors at Southwestern Vermont Hospital. A program there, called Safe Arms, helps treat babies born with withdrawal symptoms. Bennington, Vermont is not unlike many communities in the area dealing with an opiate addiction problem. The doctors and nurses CBS6 spoke with said they are trying to face it head on and remove the stigma surrounding addicted mothers.
Dr. Kloster said that the work continues even after the babies are born, when things can become stressful and relapse is possible.
Mother CBS6 spoke with said their children are what push them to keep coming to their program.
Haner said that the baby on the way keeps her coming to hers, and the hope that she will be re-united with her other four children. She said she's been unable to care for them in the past because of her addiction.
She wants to tell her children her story- so they don't repeat it.