Treatment program helps babies of pregnant women addicted to opioids

WABASH, Ind. (WANE) – A program at the Bowen Center is helping treat pregnant women addicted to heroin, ultimately saving their babies. Some reports show some pregnant women are even using in their third trimester.

In March of 2016, the CEO of the Bowen Center, Kurt Carlson, decided his team could step in to try and battle the epidemic. Dr. Shivam Dubey was one of the doctors on that team. “We understand that this is disease and we’ve got to treat it.”

They started a program treating pregnant women addicted to heroin. Their babies were spending an average of 15 to 16 days in the NICU and insurance costs were through the roof. “We got convinced so we started working on this program and all the psychiatrists in the Bowen Center got licensed to prescribe Buprenorphine for pregnant females.”

A year later, a report is showing the program has been a huge success for the babies. Bowen Center doctors treated 20 pregnant women for an average of 138 days. They recorded 11 healthy births, while 4 are still waiting on their due dates. It’s not known what happened to the other six. The report showed no babies had to spend any time in the NICU.

Kurt Carlson sent NewsChannel 15 a statement saying “The program is being very successful and we are very grateful and proud of our psychiatrists for providing this excellent care.”

Dr. Dubey saw the most patients. “As a doctor, you know, that’s what we want to do, to help people and to make their lives better.

The report also said the total amount of savings in hospital charges was more than 900 thousand dollars. The program was so successful they’re now expanding it to the general public and opening a clinic in Fort Wayne. But their goal isn’t to treat forever. “We don’t want maintenance forever. Sobriety is key.”

Click here if you’d like more information on this program or knows someone who needs help.