Recovery Programs Assist New Mom in Regaining Custody of Newborn

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Pioneer Counseling – Emerson Clinic in Spokane shared a wonderful story about working with a mother while she was hospitalized due to a chronic substance use disorder. The Emerson Clinic team helped  connect her with the treatment needed to get clean and sober, and regain custody of her child after she successfully completed the recommended residential treatment program at Pioneer Center East. 

About Pioneer Counseling-Emerson Clinic
Emerson Clinic provides in-jail and intensive outpatient services to individuals struggling with substance use disorders and counseling for clients with mental health issues. The program also has a co-occurring program for individuals with concurrent mental health and substance use disorders. In addition, the clinic has a peer specialist to help clients with their needs in the community. 

In-Hospital Intervention
A new program the clinic developed is providing a pathway to assist hospitalized patients with IV antibiotics and addiction issues to receive substance use disorder treatment. Typically, a client is released from hospital care with no support system, only to return to their abuse of a substance. The service that Emerson Clinic staff is providing intervenes with the client’s care while in the hospital to help steer the client on to a recovery path before being released. Often a residential or outpatient treatment is recommended and staff work on the transition from the hospital to the specified program for the client.

John Hindman, director of Pioneer Counseling-Emerson Clinic, said, “Our staff is working with clients when they are in medical hands at a hospital, but at a high risk of being released with no recovery plan in process. Trained staff come in to assist the client in choosing a path to recovery and to discuss all the options.

Securing Best Treatment Options
Clara was a client that the new program was able to help while she was in the hospital. She was a young, pregnant woman with a heroin addiction. She gave birth at MultiCare in Spokane and her baby was immediately taken into custody by Child Protective Services. Emerson Clinic’s staff began working with Clara while she was in the hospital to work on the next steps she needed to remain off drugs and regain custody of her newborn.

Melissa Wright, substance use disorder professional at Pioneer Counseling-Emerson Clinic said, “I first talked to Clara in April 2020 when she was in the hospital and I think she had finally reached her breaking point with her addiction.” Wright continued, “At this time, we were newly getting used to doing assessments over the phone because of COVID-19, but it was easy to warm up to Clara as she had a sweet voice and a heartbreaking story.” 

After talking with Clara and assessing her, it was decided that a residential treatment program would be the best option for her. Clara agreed to go through the program at Pioneer Center East. 

Wright added, “What I remember most about talking to Clara and doing her assessment is how much she had gone through, all the heartbreaking things that she had faced, and the willingness she had to turn her life around and face the changes she needed to make for a better life. This was going to be Clara's first time going to inpatient treatment. However, there was excitement in her voice and she asked about how soon she would be able to get in the program. She was excited about having a clean and sober life, and all the things that she would get to learn about her behavior and recovery process.” 

About Pioneer Center East
Pioneer Center East is a 53-bed facility in eastern Washington that provides semi-secure, intensive inpatient treatment for people who battle chronic substance use disorders. Located in Spokane County, the center provides variable-intensity residential treatment for high-need individuals who battle chronic substance use disorders. 

Cheryl Cross, substance use disorder professional at Pioneer Center East, shared, “When Clara arrived at Pioneer Center East she was very scared and was unsure of what her future held. She was not sure she would ever regain custody of her baby. Clara worked hard on the relapse and unhealthy relationships prevention portion of the treatment program, and she put up solid boundaries with the father of her baby due to his continued drug use. Through that process she had to make some hard decisions, one was to let go of relationships that would be detrimental to her recovery process She also looked at goals and things she wanted in her life that helped transition her external reasons for recovery into internal reasons. Clara was a pleasure to work with and I enjoyed watching her and her baby bond when she was completing the program. She developed the sober love she needed to maintain custody of her child and keep her on the recovery track.

Reunion of Mother and Child
After 60 days, Clara completed the residential treatment at Pioneer Center East and she was set up with support groups and referred to the Intensive Outpatient Program at Emerson Clinic to continue on her journey to recovery. Our counselors and case managers worked with Clara on completing all the steps necessary to get her child back and we are happy to announce that Clara and her baby have been reunified! Everyone that has been working with Clara is overjoyed at the reunion of mother and child and feels it is one more positive step that Clara has taken to living a healthy and productive life.

Pictured Top: John Hindman, director of Pioneer Counseling-Emerson Clinic
Pictured Middle: Melissa Wright, substance use disorder professional at Pioneer Counseling-Emerson Clinic
Pictured Bottom: Cheryl Cross, substance use disorder professional at Pioneer Center East

Monday, September 14, 2020