Maricopa County program helps expecting moms struggling with substance abuse

Published: Friday, May 13, 2022 - 6:52pm

The Maricopa County Department of Public Health is about six months into a new effort to help pregnant women struggling with substance abuse.

Clay Jones is coordinator for the initiative called Safe, Healthy Infants and Families Thrive, known as SHIFT, which was inspired by a program in Vermont.  

Jones said the goal is to match drug-using moms with compassionate and non-stigmatizing care so they can get help before giving birth.  

“There [are] different reasons why someone may have a substance abuse disorder. Many of them began with a legitimate prescription for opioid medication from say like a broken leg or something like that,” he said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the number of women with opioid-related issues found after having a baby went up 131% between 2010 and 2017.