Adam Newman | The Rooming-In Approach: Care for Opioid-Dependent Newborns and Mothers

From TEDxYYC 2021

Adam Newman | The Rooming-In Approach: Care for Opioid-Dependent Newborns and Mothers

Until very recently, doctors would immediately take opioid-dependent newborns away from their mothers and admit them to the NICU – a traumatic experience for a mother experiencing overwhelming guilt and emotional pain, and stressful for babies. The rooming-in approach focuses on the “mother-infant dyad.” Keeping opioid-dependent babies together with their mothers has resulted in better outcomes for both the babies and their mothers with substance use disorders (SUD).

During my description of the Rooming-In program at KHSC, I referred to a “fantastic program” that supports mothers with addictions, but I mistakenly referred to it as a hospital program. In fact, the program today known as Thrive was launched by the KIngston Community Health Centre in 2012 and is currently managed by the Southeastern Ontario Local Health Integration Network. It continues to play a vital role in the way the Rooming-In program has managed to serve families in our community I practiced full scope family medicine in Sioux Lookout and Kingston, Ontario for 20 years before obtaining Certification from the Canadian Association of Addiction Medicine in 2013. Since then my practice has been focused on Addiction Medicine and Harm Reduction exclusively, including perinatal addictions and substance use. I am the Most Responsible Physician for Opioid Dependent infants rooming-in with their mothers at Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC). I am also the founding board chair of the Kingston House of Recovery for Women and Children, and a member of the Substance Treatment And Rehabilitation Team (START), which provides Addiction Medicine consultation and treatment for inpatients at KHSC. I am married to my high school sweetheart, with whom I have two adult children. I have been in recovery from Opioid Use Disorder since 2010.

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