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Regional partnership addresses issues of substance abuse during pregnancy

The Virginia Tech Institute for Policy and Governance (IPG) is leading a project to track regional trends in substance abuse during pregnancy, and identify the resources that regional partners can provide to women and children at risk in order to help reduce the troubling increase in this trend. The team of regional partners includes the New River Health District (NRHD), the New River Valley Community Services Board, New River Community Action, the New River Valley Regional Commission, as well as local social services agencies, physicians, nurses and other health providers.

The NRVRC and the NRHD are analyzing hospital, insurance and other medical records to try to identify regional trends related to this issue, as well as specific locations or groups of women who may be at greater risk.  Virginia Tech IPG, with support from the regional public health community, are researching promising strategies and programs that can help to prevent substance abuse during pregnancy, or provide treatment to the mothers and children to end the cycle of addiction and related social issues that result. More information at: http://www.smartbeginningsnrv.org/article/prenatal-substance-abuse-new-river-valley-fact-sheet .

The project was funded by a grant to the Virginia Tech Institute of Policy and Governance from the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and is expected to be complete in May 2016. The project partners are pursuing additional funding through this and other sources in order to continue their work on various aspects of this important community health issue.

For further information, please contact Patrick O’Brien (pobrien@nrvrc.org), 540-639-9313 x206