MOMS Program Focuses on Family Recovery

Healing from addiction takes a network of treatment and resources that focuses on the whole family. The Hoops Family Children’s Hospital at Cabell Huntington Hospital has created a program that begins once a mother gives birth and provides comprehensive addiction treatment services that promote bonding between mother and baby.

The MOMS (Maternal Opioid Medication Support) program was developed to provide addiction treatment services to postpartum women, not currently in a treatment program, while their babies are recovering from neonatal abstinence syndrome (a group of problems that occur in newborns exposed to addictive drugs) in the Neonatal Therapy Unit (NTU).

The goal is to provide medication stabilization, psychological and medical treatment, education and training that will create a solid foundation for a healthy, productive life-style that will benefit the mother as well as the family network. This education includes a team of experts who address the specific needs of mothers and offers a range of services from counseling to occupational rehabilitation with a goal to end the cycle of addiction.

“With the increase in the number of new mothers with drug addiction we are seeing an increase in neonatal drug exposure,” said Sarah Setran, PsyD, integrated and behavioral health addiction psychologist and MOMS program developer. “It is important for mother and baby to bond, so keeping them close and providing resources to help her as her baby recovers are very important.”


According to Dr. Setran, women make up a significant portion of the addiction population. In addition to the increasing numbers, women:

  • -          are more likely to suffer from chronic addiction than men;
  • -          become addicted at a faster rate than men; and
  • -          are three times more likely to die from an overdose than men. 

“One more thing we know is that women are less likely to receive treatment,” she said. “We now know that to decrease these numbers and to promote recovery for the family, treatment for the moms and babies needs to be linked together.”

Mothers receive up to 100 days of treatment aimed at bridging care to a long-term community substance abuse treatment program that provides comprehensive services. The patients and the referring facility will remain connected to ensure that the transition of care continues.


“Access to treatment also will be offered to fathers who are willing to participate by connecting them with the appropriate resources,” said Dr. Setran, “It is more difficult for a patient in recovery to be successful when they return to an environment where substance abuse continues to take place. We want these women to fully recover and by including the father in the recovery process, there is a higher rate of success.”


The MOMS program is funded through grants and donations. The Highmark Foundation, a private, charitable organization dedicated to public health and human service initiatives, recently donated $75,000 to support the program.


“We are grateful for the support we have received throughout the community to bring this innovative program to families,” said Melanie Akers, RN, director of the Hoops Family Children’s Hospital. “A great deal of research and development has been built into this process and we are confident that we will be able to change lives and provide the care needed for successful recovery.”


For more information about the MOMS program, please call 304.526.2058.