Funding to address adverse events related to Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome
FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 18, 2022) - Today, Gov. Andy Beshear announced the award of $4.9 million in grant funding to help address Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) by offering comprehensive treatment and recovery services to pregnant and parenting women.
The funding has been distributed to 17 non-profit organizations, such as Community Mental Health Centers (CMHCs) and Neonatal Abstinence Treatment Programs, through the Senate Bill 192 Treatment Grant administered by the Office of Drug Control Policy (ODCP).
“Our job as public servants is to work with partners throughout Kentucky to provide help, hope and a hand to lead individuals out of the darkness of addiction and into the light of acceptance, opportunity and community," said Gov. Beshear. “This grant funding is another resource in addressing this public health crisis and allowing us to take another step closer to creating a better Kentucky for future generations, starting with our newborn babies."
NAS is a complex set of symptoms consistent with opiate withdrawal that is seen in babies exposed to opiates before birth. According to a report published by the Kentucky Department for Public Health, the number of infants born in Kentucky reported as having NAS has climbed steadily since 2001, when 67 cases of NAS were reported statewide. In 2019, there were 1,102 cases of babies with signs and symptoms of NAS born in the state; this accounts for 20.9 of every 1,000 live births among Kentucky residents.
ODCP and the Kentucky Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities (DBHDID) collaborated to administer grant funding to licensed non-profit organizations. Grants support the development or expansion of comprehensive, evidence-based residential treatment services and/or outpatient treatment and recovery support for pregnant and parenting women with opioid use disorder (OUD) who are transitioning from residential services.
This year's Senate Bill 192 treatment grant funding was primarily provided for treatment and case management services, trauma-focused treatment for the parenting mother, attachment therapy for the mother and infant and ongoing parenting training and support through the infant's first year of life.
ODCP Executive Director Van Ingram said it is well established that substance use disorder, particularly OUD, has reached epidemic levels in Kentucky. “Kentucky has worked hard over the last couple of years to boost access to care and remove the stigma of seeking addiction treatment. There should never be a stigma associated with anyone who is taking action to get help and heal themselves. That's something we should all support."
Last month, Gov. Beshear announced that a bipartisan group of state leaders is making progress on recommendations from Pew Charitable Trusts on how best to address the opioid crisis and help save lives by eliminating barriers and expanding access to treatment. One of the recommendations from the study was targeted at the commonwealth expanding access to treatment for pregnant and parenting people and individuals in rural areas.
Last year, the Beshear administration awarded $4.6 million in grant funding to expand treatment and recovery services, including those for mothers and pregnant women with addiction. Additionally, more than $170 million has been awarded by the DBHDID Kentucky Opioid Response Effort in support of prevention, treatment and recovery services targeting priority populations, such as individuals exiting correctional settings and pregnant and parenting women. DBHDID has further invested in the expansion of the SUD/OUD system of care, including integrating SUD services and overdose prevention into CMHC systems, partnering with the Kentucky Department for Medicaid Services to support the launch of four Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics and investing federal block grant dollars in the expansion of services throughout Kentucky, including the expansion of recovery housing.
Today's grant funding announcement is another step in accomplishing the study's recommendations to save Kentuckians from the horrible disease of addiction.
“Ensuring that pregnant and parenting women have access to compassionate, evidence-based services is a top priority in building a recovery-oriented system of care," said DBHDID Commissioner Wendy Morris, an agency of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. “In efforts to address substance use disorder, we often find that women are the most heavily stigmatized population and face the most significant barriers when trying to find and maintain care. This program helps us connect more women to the life-saving services they need to recover from OUD and live healthy, productive lives."
For a full list of the CMHCs and Neonatal Abstinence Treatment Programs grant recipients to receive funding from the SB 192 Treatment Grant, visit the Office of Drug Control Policy's website.
Some of the programs funded by the SB 192 Treatment Grant include:
Communicare, Inc. has been awarded $200,000 to expand substance use treatment and recovery services to pregnant and parenting women with opioid use disorders, co-morbid polysubstance use and co-occurring mental health disorders.
“This funding will allow women to receive a recovery residence and intensive outpatient treatment by providing evidence-based curricula, individual and group therapy, peer support and relapse prevention," Communicare Inc. Director of Behavioral Health Tim Hensley said.
LifeSkills has been awarded $250,000 to increase the availability of and access to substance use treatment services.
“This funding will allow LifeSkills' Outpatient Based Opioid Treatment Program to reach individuals with OUD and provide treatment services to them at times in which they are most vulnerable, thus assisting these men and women an opportunity to reach lifelong recovery," LifeSkills Clinical Director of Addiction Services Megan Zipf said.
New Vista Behavioral Health
New Vista has been awarded $220,500 to increase access in both urban and rural areas, retention and engagement in substance use treatment services by providing transportation to recovery services, integrated medical services and contingency management in outpatient and residential settings.
“With a large portion of the New Vista service area being rural, this funding will allow New Vista the ability to provide access to individuals throughout its 17 county region to its residential substance use treatment facilities, as well as including a transitional living facility that provides intensive outpatient treatment, outpatient opioid treatment and medications for opioid substance use disorder," said New Vista Chief Clinical Officer Nikki Stanaitis.
River Valley Behavioral Health
River Valley Behavioral Health has been awarded $246,800 to implement a Recovery House dedicated to women in recovery.
For more information on Senate Bill 192, please visit the Office of Drug Control Policy's website.
Fighting the Epidemic
When Gov. Beshear served as attorney general, he filed more lawsuits than any other state attorney general and sought to hold drug companies accountable for the damage done to Kentucky communities and families. He has continued his fight as Governor by working to provide resources to fight the epidemic.
On April 4, the Governor took legislative action to help those suffering from an addiction who are not in a position to seek help for themselves. Casey's Law, signed in 2004, has helped more than 6,000 Kentuckians battling addiction by allowing families and loved ones to seek a court order for involuntary treatment for anyone who is fighting addiction and refuses treatment on their own. Gov. Beshear signed House Bill 362 to expand on the benefit of Casey's Law by permitting the court to determine if an individual should be ordered to undergo treatment for a substance use disorder beyond a reasonable doubt. At this time, the court shall order treatment for a specific amount of time. If the individual fails to undergo treatment, they will be held in contempt of court.
The Beshear-Coleman administration is working to reduce addiction and prevent re-incarceration through a statewide project that provides former inmates with free transportation so they can access substance-abuse recovery facilities, medical appointments, job interviews, educational courses, probation and parole meetings and employment. The Department of Corrections is partnering with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to serve nearly 50,000 Kentuckians, currently under the supervision of probation or parole, who can utilize this project.
Recently, Gov. Beshear announced that, through a federal grant, the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the University of Kentucky are administering Narcan, a brand name for the medicine naloxone, in eight counties at no cost to help reduce overdose deaths. As of today, more than 500 units have been distributed. Eight more counties will be added to the program this summer.
Another step the Governor took to help provide treatment to those fighting addiction was signing House Bill 7 into law last year. This ensures communities are recovery-ready by having employment and transportation services as well as recovery meetings and support groups.
Then in June 2021, the Governor announced more than $570,000 in grant funding to the Jeffersontown Police Department and Access to Justice Commission to develop a variety of treatment options.
In August 2021, the Governor and Justice and Public Safety Cabinet Secretary Kerry Harvey announced a total of almost $1.2 million in grant funding to implement a project creating pathways to recovery and healing for individuals suffering from addiction.
In September 2021, Gov. Beshear announced that, through a collaborative effort between state government, health care and the business community, the commonwealth had launched a new initiative to help employers address addiction, boost hiring and retention and support employees in the workplace.
In October 2021, Gov. Beshear and Secretary Harvey announced $1,698,441 in federal grant funding to assist in the fight against the opioid epidemic through targeted drug trafficking enforcement. Also in October 2021, the Governor and Secretary Harvey announced $188,784 in grant funding to help ensure that children negatively impacted by parental addiction have access to legal services, community resources and therapeutic services.
By the end of 2022, more than $69 million in grant funding will have been awarded to help recovery and fight addiction across the commonwealth.
“The commonwealth is continuing to take many aggressive steps to end this crisis by using a multidisciplinary approach with a team comprised of health care experts, law enforcement, advocates and public policy experts," said Executive Director Ingram. “Kentucky cannot continue to lose our citizens to this epidemic, which not only causes thousands of families heartbreak but brings devastation to our communities. There is no simple answer to how we combat this public health crisis, but we must treat addiction as a medical issue, not just a criminal issue."
Call the KY Help Call Center at 833-8KY-HELP (833-859-4357) to speak one-on-one with a specialist who can connect Kentuckians to treatment.
Visit findhelpnowky.org to find information about available space in treatment programs and providers based on location, facility type and category of treatment needed.
Visit the KSP website to find one of KSP's 16 posts where those suffering from addiction can be paired with a local officer who will assist with locating an appropriate treatment program. The Angel Initiative is completely voluntary, and individuals will not be arrested or charged with any violations if they agree to participate in treatment.