Gov. Andy Beshear along with the Office of Drug Control Policy (ODCP) and the Kentucky Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities (KDBHDID) announced Feb. 22 that a total of $4,645,070 has been awarded to 12 nonprofit organizations throughout the commonwealth. The total grant funding has been distributed among Community Mental Health Centers and Neonatal Abstinence Treatment Programs from the Senate Bill 192 Treatment Grant which is administered by ODCP.

The grant awards are primarily focused on addressing Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) by offering comprehensive residential treatment services to pregnant and parenting women.

“It is very unfortunate, but a reality, that Kentucky continues to battle an ongoing public health crisis in regards to substance use disorder,” said Gov. Beshear. “We cannot take our eyes off the increased risk of substance use and overdose deaths, and that includes tackling the increase in number of babies born with NAS. This grant funding will help the state address these problems and allow us to take another step closer to creating a better Kentucky for future generations.”

ODCP and the KDBHDID collaborated together on reviewing and administrating funding to licensed not-for-profit organizations that are aggressively addressing NAS by developing or expanding comprehensive evidence-based residential treatment services and/or outpatient treatment and recovery supports to pregnant and parenting women with opioid use disorders who are transitioning from residential services.

ODCP Executive Director Van Ingram said that it is well established that substance abuse, particularly opioid use disorder, has reached epidemic levels in Kentucky. “As a subgroup, women of child-bearing age and those who are pregnant and parenting are at extreme risk for poor outcomes, including adverse events such as NAS. While progress has been evident, much remains to be done to turn the tide of this epidemic.”

Awarded funding was provided for the provision of treatment and case management services, trauma-focused treatment for the parenting mother, attachment therapy for the mother-infant dyad, and ongoing parenting training and support through the infant’s first year of life.

“We know the stressors brought on by COVID-19 have contributed significantly to increases in substance use,” said Wendy Morris, commissioner of the KDBHDID, an agency of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. “The continued allocation of funds to improve access to treatment and recovery support services is more important today than ever. Our partnership with the ODCP ensures that our public behavioral health safety net, and others who serve pregnant and parenting women who suffer with addiction, continue to meet the ever-growing demand for services.”

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