CADAS Reacts to Addicted Mother Being Charged
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — Yesterday we learned that a Chattanooga woman has been charged with first-degree murder after her premature twins died as a result of her repeated illegal drug use.
29 year old Tiffany Marie Roberts, who tested positive for cocaine and oxycodone at a hospital, went into labor Sunday and lost her premature twin girls a few hours after their birth. She is being held on a 1.3 million dollar bond, which should come as a shock to any addicted mom.
Some..like Tiffany Roberts…are also homeless.
“It’s very common to see people who are in the throes of addiction walk away from their families, their loved ones their jobs, it’s just a very common occurrence,” said Paul Fuchcar, Executive Director at CADAS.
CADAS is comparing the various treatment programs.
“The first thing I think people need to understand, that right now, the standard of care for a pregnant woman, who identifies as a opiate addict, is a maintenance program. And maintenance means either methadone or suboxone,” said Fuchcar.
Treatment centers know there were some studies done in the 80’s that indicated that to withdraw a pregnant woman from opiates entirely, might harm the fetus.
“Newer research is coming out to suggest that we CAN safely detox women to abstinence while they’re pregnant. Certainly, there’s an awful lot of women who are pregnant who, identify that they need to have a better life for themselves and their children,” said Fuchcar.
He says they use both methods at CADAS.
“Here at CADAS, right now, it’s a case by case basis. There are some times when we will take a pregnant woman and detox her to abstinence, there are other times when we may put them on a maintenance dose, of suboxone, until they, until they give birth. And then try and withdraw them to abstinence,” said Fuchcar.
In the case of addicted women who are pregnant, it’s more than one life hanging in the balance.
In Tennessee, lawmakers this year considered a bill that allows the mothers of addicted babies to be charged with a crime. The bill was withdrawn.
Under a state grant, most emergency rooms have navigators—-counselors who work with drug addicted patients, including those who are pregnant… to get them the treatment they need.