Complementary Work in the West

In response to the lack of options for maternal SUD treatment, Blue Ridge Community Health Services (BRCHS) launched a program for comprehensive, gender-specific, trauma-informed perinatal and postpartum SUDs care at its Polk County clinic (BRH-Polk). BRCHS has since then replicated the program at its main Henderson County clinic (BRH-Chimney Rock); the program will be replicated at the Haywood County clinic (BRH-Haywood) in September 2022. These groups are fully staffed by a Licensed Clinical Addiction Specialist (LCAS) and family physician/nurse practitioner. Groups meet weekly and follow a 12-week curriculum covering a variety of topics related to addiction, recovery, and the pregnant and postpartum period. Topics focus on understanding addiction as a chronic brain disease; tools in recovery (for example, managing triggers and cravings); goal setting; mindfulness; identifying and coping with past trauma; and preparing for, bonding with, and caring for their infants postpartum. Children are welcomed at groups, and participants model and share parenting skills among their co-participants. Participants also engage in a comprehensive plan of care including individual counseling, psychiatric services, MAT if indicated, medical services including prenatal care, and preparation for delivery and postpartum.