AMHC’s New “Maine Mothers’ Network” Program Can Help Pregnant and Parenting Women Affected by Substance Abuse

AMHC urges pregnant and parenting women who use drugs or alcohol to call the Maine Mother’s Network (MMN) 24/7 referral line today.

Aroostook, Washington and Hancock Counties, Maine (Friday, May 29, 2019)— Aroostook Mental Health Services (AMHC) is urging women who are pregnant or parenting children five years of age and under to join a new, free program in northeastern Maine that can help them create a substance-free future for them and their children. The referral line for Maine Mothers’ Network is open 24/7 at 1-800-244-6431.

“Pregnancy is a time of hope for the future, and we know that for some women who use drugs or alcohol, the time can be a powerful force for change. Our goal is to help them gain access to needed services to attend to their substance use or become substance-free in order to give their baby the best possible start,” says Lorraine Chamberlain, LCSW, and Program Director at AMHC. “But we also know that breaking free of substances is both physically and mentally hard. Maine Mothers’ Network helps mothers with their unaddressed needs that are underlying substance use – helping them break the cycle of drug or alcohol use for good.”

In the context of an opioid epidemic that resulted in more than three hundred fatal overdoses in Maine last year, the program’s mission is even more urgent. Per the Maine Center for Disease Control, Maine’s per capita rate of substance-affected babies is the highest in the nation. Data from the Augusta-based Maine Children’s Alliance show that one in ten babies born in Aroostook County is born drug-affected, and this correlates with higher rates of infant death during the first year of life – a problem that is on the rise in Maine.

“This program is cost- and judgement-free,” says Chamberlain. “We want moms to call us, so we can help them get to the place they want to be. Our agency has helped thousands of people in Aroostook County recover from substance use over the past fifty years. We aren’t here to judge. We’re here to help.”

Each mom will be assigned a case manager who can help her with various needs – from health coverage, to healthy food for her and her baby, to help finding a place to live, high-quality childcare for her children, or get training for a better job. At the same time, moms will learn more about events from their own early lives that have led to the stressors that too often underlie high risk behaviors like substance use – and start the process of healing. National experts from the United States Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) have recognized this program as an example of “evidence-based practice,” and skilled practitioners will be engaged using tele-health technology, ensuring that moms living in the country and small towns still receive first-class care.

Maine Mothers’ Network is offered through a consortium of partner agencies across the state of Maine, including AMHC, Crisis and Counseling, Day One, Tri-County Mental Health Services, and Wellspring. It is funded through the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services.

AMHC is a private, non-profit community health and social service organization with operations in Aroostook, Hancock, and Washington Counties, Maine. We offer mobile crisis response and stabilization, outpatient, behavioral health home, rehabilitation, residential, peer support, supportive visitation, case management, and educational services to meet the community’s mental health, substance use, and brain injury treatment and recovery needs. Our mission is to provide integrated healthcare services that maximize an individual’s potential to recover and improve their quality of life.

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