Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine is launching new research looking at the effectiveness of treatment programs for pregnant women struggling with opioid abuse.
Standard care for this population involves both prenatal care and addiction treatment, including a medication like Suboxone or methadone to stop the symptoms of withdrawal.
The research team will be examining a model that offers both these services in the same facility, rather than referring women to two separate appointments.
New Hampshire recently allocated about $3 million in federal funds to Dartmouth-Hitchcock to build out programs like this around the state, modeled off the medical center’s Moms in Recovery program in Lebanon.
“This is not a new idea,” said Daisy Goodman, who works with the Moms in Recovery program and will help lead the research. “It’s something that’s happening all over the country, but it hasn’t really been studied as well as it should be.”
The study is supported by a $5.3 million grant from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, a DC-based non-profit funded through the Affordable Care Act. It will take about four years to complete.
Researchers are working collaboratively with health centers across New England, and hope to emerge with more conclusive data on the effectiveness of different models of care.
“We’re in the middle of a maternal-child public health crisis around opiate use in our region,” Goodman said. “We need answers.”